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University  of  California  •  Berkeley 

University  of  California  Bancroft  Library  /  Berkeley 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

Walter  E.  Packard 


With  an  introduction  by 
Alan  Temko 

An  Interview  Conducted  by 
Willa  Klug  Baum 


1970  by  The  University  of  California  at  Berkeley 

Walter  Packard 

All  uses  of  this  manuscript  are  covered  by  a  legal 
agreement  between  the  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 
and  Walter  E.  Packard,  dated  26  October,  1966.   The  manuscript 
is  thereby  made  available  for  research  purposes.   All  literary 
rights  in  the  manuscript,  including  the  right  to  publish,  are 
reserved  to  The  Bancroft  Library  of  the  University  of  California 
at  Berkeley.   No  part  of  the  manuscript  may  be  quoted  for 
publication  without  the  written  permission  of  the  Director  of 
the  Bancroft  Library  of  the  University  of  California  at 

Requests  for  permission  to  quote  for  publication  should 
be  addressed  to  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office,  486  Library, 
and  should  include  identification  of  the  specific  passages  to 
be  quoted,  anticipated  use  of  the  passages,  and  identification 
of  the  user. 


INTRODUCTION  by  Alan  Temko  i 





Packard  Forebears  1 

Parents:   Samuel  W.  Packard  and  Clara  Fish  Packard;  Brother  and 

Sisters  7 

Childhood  14 

Education  27 

Iowa  State  College,  1903-1907,  Ames,  Iowa 

England  -  1905  30 

Extra-curricular  Activities  at  Ames 

On  a  Surveying  Crew  in  Idaho  -  Summer,  1906  34 

Y.M.C.A.  Secretary  at  Stanford  University,  1907-1908  35 

Back  to  Idaho  to  Prove  a  Land  Claim,  Summer,  1908  36 

Berkeley:   Graduate  Work  in  Soils  and  Irrigation  Engineering, 

1908-1909  41 

Irrigation  Investigation  -  1909  43 

Marriage  to  Emma  Lou  Leonard,  December  20,  1909  45 

IMPERIAL  VALLEY,  1909-1917  48 

Living  Conditions  in  El  Centre  48 

Early  Local  Politics  52 

Social  Life  59 

Mrs.  Packard:   A  Stay  at  Dr.  Pottenger's  Tuberculosis  Sanatorium  64 

Farming  Conditions  69 
Establishing  the  Imperial  Valley  Agricultural  Experiment  Station 

of  the  University  of  California  73 

Experimental  Work  and  Farmer  Education  78 

Experimental  Work  78 

Farm  Institutes  82 

Work  with  Frank  Veihmeyer  83 

A  Russian  Soil  Scientist  Visits  the  Experiment  Farm  86 

Water  Distribution:   The  Imperial  Valley  Irrigation  District  and 

the  Ail-American  Canal  88 

Meloland  School  91 

Broadening  Ideas  94 



Army  Education  Corps  Lectures  107 

Plan  to  Rehabilitate  Armenia  115 

Brief  Statement  of  Plans  for  Agricultural  Work  in  Armenia  during 

the  Fall  of  the  Present  Year,  1919  119 

Sightseeing  in  France  123 


Beginnings  of  the  State  Land  Settlement  Board  and  the  Durham  and 

Delhi  Land  Settlement  Projects  140 

Selection  of  the  Delhi  Site  144 

Improving  the  Land  147 

Planning  the  Town  of  Delhi  150 

Two-Acre  Laborers'  Allotments  151 

Low  Cost  Housing;   Architect  Max  Cook  152 

Costs  to  the  Settlers  155 

Environmental  Problems:   Wind,  Rabbits,  and  Pests  158 

Human  Problems  and  Community  Projects  164 

Decreasing  Demand  for  Land;  Inexperienced  Settlers  173 

Veterans'  Administration  Trainees  176 

Settlers  Organize  to  Demand  More  Aid  from  the  State  183 

Packard  Resigns  as  Superintendent  of  Delhi  193 

A  PERIOD  OF  BASIC  ADJUSTMENT,  July  1924  -  June  1926  201 

A  Try  at  Banking  and  Loan  Work  201 

Owens  Valley,  Consultant  for  the  Los  Angeles  Department  of  Water 

and  Power  204 

MEXICO,  1926-1929  209 
Soils  Survey  Assignments  in  Guatimape,  Western  Chihuahua,  Rio 

Salado,  and  Other  Projects  209 

Guatimape  209 

Western  Chihuahua  213 

Rio  Salado  Project  215 

Chief  of  the  Department  of  Agronomy  of  the  National  Irrigation 

Commission  215 

Problems  of  Land  Holding  217 

Mexican  Co-Workers  222 

Personal  Experiences,  Violence,  and  Anti-Government  Forces  225 

Social  Life  in  Mexico;  Influence  of  Ambassador  and  Mrs.  Dwight  Morrow  242 

Daughter  Emmy  Lou  Packard  and  Diego  Rivera  247 

Two  Mistakes  and  a  Lesson  261 

INTERIM  WORK,  1930-1933  268 

Soil  Survey  in  the  Upper  San  Joaquin  Valley  268 

Feasibility  of  the  Central  Valley  Project  269 

Study  of  Underground  Water  for  P.G.  &  E.  270 

Feasibility  of  the  Columbia  River  Basin  Project  273 

Study  of  the  Effect  of  Cement  Dust  on  Crops  276 

Testimony  in  a  Land  Fraud  Case  for  the  U.S.  Post  Office  279 

Water  Studies  in  Owens  Valley  for  the  City  of  Los  Angeles  281 

Investigation  of  Irrigation  Districts  for  the  Land  Bank  283 

Peninsula  School;  Palo  Alto  Community  Activities;  Family  286 


Marketing  Agreement  Program  for  the  Pacific  Coast  295 

San  Francisco  General  Strike,  Summer  1934  300 


1935-1938  302 

Director  of  Region  9  302 

Purposes  of  Rural  Resettlement  Administration  302 

Setting  up  Region  9 

Migratory  Farm  Laborers  and  Labor  Camps 

Son-in-law  Burton  Cairns,  Architect;  Daughter  Emmy  Lou;  and 

Diego  Rivera 
Arizona  and  Utah 

National  Director  of  the  Rural  Resettlement  Division  325 

Subsistence  vs.  Middle-Income  Farms 

Greer,  South  Carolina  -  A  Mill  Village 

Types  of  Resettlement  Projects 

Casa  Grande,  Arizona  334 

Southern  Projects  *36 

An  Urban  Project,  New  Jersey 

Individual  Farms 

Work  of  the  Washington  Office  339 

Life  in  Washington  341 

Personnel  346 

Closing  Out  of  the  Resettlement  Administration  346 

CONSULTING  WORK,  1939-1944  350 

Irrigation  Projects  Near  Yuma  350 

Study  of  Baja  California  for  Jewish  Settlement  353 

Work  With  the  National  Youth  Administration  355 

Consultant  for  the  Farm  Security  Administration  in  Oregon  357 

Consultant  for  the  U.S.  Indian  Service  359 

Work  With  the  Commonwealth  Club  of  California  361 

California  State  Land  Classification  Commission  361 

Work  on  the  Central  Valley  Project  366 

War  Related  Activities  374 

California  Housing  and  Planning  Association  375 


Getting  Settled  in  Puerto  Rico  378 

Reforms  Under  the  Popular  Party  and  Governor  Tugwell  383 

The  Land  Authority;   Problems  of  Large  Land  Ownership  388 

Later  Developments  in  the  Land  Authority  Program  395 

Efforts  at  Birth  Control  Programs  398 

Appointment  of  Governor  Jesus  Pinero  401 

A  Preview  of  the  Communist  Take-Over  in  Cuba  403 

Advisor  to  Governor  Pinero  406 

VENEZUELA,  1947  408 

GREECE,  1948-1954  419 
First  Assignment,  Irrigation  Specialist  for  American  Mission  for 

Aid  to  Greece  (AMAG)  419 

War  Conditions  in  Greece  421 

Problems  of  Financial  and  Political  Support  for  Reclamation  Work  435 

Greek  Technical  Assistants  440 

Life  in  Greece  443 

Mrs.  Packard  Comes  to  Greece  443 

Living  Arrangements  for  Americans  446 

American  Women's  Activities  in  Greece  -  AWOG  449 

Public  vs.  Private  Development  of  Hydroelectric  Power  455 

FAO  Memorandum  455 

The  Scharff  Report  456 

The  Gilmore  Memorandum  457 

John  Nuveen,  New  Chief  of  the  Mission  459 

A  Defeat  for  Public  Power  462 

Return  to  Washington  for  a  Security  Hearing,  1949  464 

Failure  to  Get  a  Security  Clearance  464 

Side  Trip  to  Israel  465 

Packard  Cleared  and  Sent  Back  to  Greece  471 

Development  of  Public  Power  Corporation  474 

Rebuilding  War-Damaged  Structures  482 
Relationship  Between  the  Mission  and  the  Greek  Government  Ministries  484 

The  Mechanical  Cultivation  Service  485 
River  Development  for  Flood  Control  and  Irrigation  -  Master  Plans 

by  Foreign  Companies  489 

Knappen-Tippetts  Corporation  of  New  York  489 

The  Harza  Engineering  Company  of  Chicago  492 

Grontmij  Company  of  Holland  495 

Boot  Company  of  London  496 

Forest  and  Range  Land  Rehabilitation  497 

Rice  Growing  and  Alkali  Reclamation  Program  505 

Anthill  511 

Working  with  the  Villagers  512 

Home  Visit,  Trips,  and  Family  515 

Home  Leave,  1951  515 

Trip  to  Germany  517 

Family  520 

Celebrations  and  Honors  from  the  People  of  Greece  522 

Farewell  to  Greece  and  Final  Trip  Home,  July  1954  528 

JAMAICA,  1955  532 

Consultant  for  the  Kaiser  Company  532 


Invitation  to  Return  in  1966  540 

Family  541 


Opposition  to  the  State  Water  Plan,  November  1960  543 

National  Planning  Association  Meeting  at  Aspen,  Colorado  544 

Power  from  the  Northwest  for  the  Central  Valley  Project  545 
Efforts  to  Convert  Berkeley  to  Public  Power,  and  to  Join  in  an 

Atomic-Powered  Steam  Plant  547 

California  Power  Users  Association  550 

Packard's  Book  on  Economic  Philosophy  555 


INDEX  592 


I  first  met  Walter  Packard  in  the  late  Nineteen  Forties  through  his 
daughter  Emmy  Lou,  who  was  my  friend,  and  I  was  delighted  to  find  at  the 
time  --  when  I  was  relatively  young  and  most  of  the  artists  and  intellectuals 
in  North  Beach  considered  themselves  dashingly  radical  --  that  her  father 
was  more  radical  than  any  of  us.   He  seemed  to  have  pierced  to  the  heart 
of  all  the  problems  that  later  preoccupied  me,  long  before  I  was  fully 
aware  of  their  complexity;  and  these  ranged  from  the  cleansing  and  conserving 
of  the  national  environment  to  social  justice  at  home,  to  international 
justice  and  peace,  plus  the  conservation  of  world  resources.   I  had  never 
met  anyone  who  had  so  comprehensive  a  grasp  of  interacting  social  and 
economic  and  physical  forces.   In  this  sense  he's  one  of  the  great  fathers 
of  modern  planning. 

Walter  Packard  was  one  of  the  first  Americans  to  think  on  the 
appropriate  physical  scale  --  that  is,  a  continental  scale  --  of  develop 
ment.   I'm  not  speaking  in  any  simplistic  sense  of  manifest  destiny,  but 
rather  in  terms  of  the  full  national  future  and  the  true  fulfillment  of  the 
American  people  which  he  saw  not  only  in  terms  of  the  land  and  water  and 
energy,  but  also  in  terms  of  global  order:   a  new  sort  of  global  order.   In 
this  he  wasn't  too  different  from  many  visionary  nineteenth-century  American 
radicals.   He  was  in  a  great  tradition,  and  it's  a  tradition  we've  lost 
to  some  extent. 

There  are,  I  think,  among  the  present  generation  of  young  people  many 
who  are  trying  to  revive  the  high  principles  and  tremendous  social  commit 
ment  of  people  of  Walter  Packard's  generation.   But  in  my  own  generation 
I  feel  that  it  is  rare,  partly  because  of  the  mood  in  the  world,  but  also 
partly  because  of  upbringing.   So,  I've  always  been  very  happy  for  my  own 
children  to  have  known  Walter  and  Emma  Packard  as  well  as  Lewis  and 
Sophia  Mumford ;  people  like  that.   People  whose  like  I  don't  think  we'll 
ever  see  again  in  America,  because  they  knew  what  their  responsibility 
was  to  the  Republic  and  also  saw  it  in  terms  of  the  larger  world.  While 
they  were  not  fanatics,  they  didn't  compromise  and  they  were  also  remarkably 
free  from  the  wrong  kind  of  egotism. 

Walter  Packard  had  magnificant  self  confidence,  but  he  was  free 
from  what  the  young  people  today  call  an  "ego  trip."  He  saw  certain  issues 
far  before  his  time,  although  they  were  of  course  recognized  by  others, 
too.   The  conservation  movement,  like  democratic  land  legislation  in  this 
country,  is,  after  all,  more  than  one  hundred  years  old.   The  great 
Reclamation  Act  was  passed  in  1902.   The  Merrill  Land  Grant  Act,  which 
provided  sites  for  the  great  public  universities,  was  passed  in  Lincoln's 

We've  had  good  land  legislation  (although  it  has  been  weakly  enforced), 


but  what  Walter  tried  to  do  was  put  together  the  mosaic  of  seemingly  disparate 
elements  in  a  profit-motive  economy  which  is  not  a  laissez-faire  economy, 
as  he  realized,  but  a  mixed  economy  which  --  to  borrow  a  phrase  from 
Charles  Abrams  --  works  as  socialism  for  the  rich  and  capitalism  for  the  poor. 
That  is,  government  intervention  almost  always  subsidizes  the  rich  and  the 
powerful,  especially  the  great  landowners,  and  abandons  the  weak  and  the 
landless  to  go  it  alone  in  our  economy. 

Maybe  I  should  go  back.   I  first  met  him  when  I  was  quite  young  in  San 
Francisco  in  the  '40's,  just  after  the  war.   I  guess  in  '48,  when  I  was  a 
cub  reporter  on  the  Chronicle  and  Emmy  Lou,  his  daughter,  was  my  friend.   She 
was  then  living  in  a  wonderful  studio  in  San  Francisco.   She  is  a  remarkable 
person  in  her  own  right,  an  extraordinary  person  and  gifted  artist,  and  I 
knew  she  must  have  come  from  remarkable  stock. 

What  delighted  me,  when  I  met  both  of  her  parents,  was  their  wonderfully 
upright  posture  before  a  world  that  seemed  in  grave  difficulties  and  Walter's 
boundless  optimism  and  confidence  in  human  reason  at  the  same  time  that  he 
was  dismayed  at  the  human  folly  he  saw  about  him. 

He  had  long  experience  which  proved  to  him  that  even  a  modicum  of  ration 
ality  would  yield  tremendous  dividends  to  people  everywhere.   This  started 
in  his  first  experiments  in  the  Central  Valley,  at  Delhi  in  the  early 
Twenties.   Although  they  did  not  work  out  altogether  well,  these  now  seemingly 
Utopian  experiments,  in  fact,  were  motivated  by  the  highest  kind  of  realism. 
Because  he  realized  that  what  was  necessary  was  to  set  into  motion  processes 
which  eventually  could  transform  the  whole  of  our  environment.   In  other  words, 
you  wouldn't  want  a  Moses  to  lead  the  people  out  of  the  wilderness  at  a 
single  stroke  because  some  false  Moses  could  lead  them  back.  What  you  wanted 
were  processes  that  transcended  individuals  because  they  were  based  on 

principles  of  social  and  economic  justice  which  regarded  land  and  water  as 
commonwealth.   Furthermore,  these  principles  were  not  anti-urban  or  anti- 
technological.   Now,  this  is  one  of  the  things  that  distinguishes  Walter 
Packard  from  the  Jef fersonians .   There  are  many  people  in  the  older  gener 
ation  who  might  be  described  as  Jeffersonian  idealists  who  believe  in  the 
family  farm  and  small  units  of  settlement.  Mumf ord ,  to  some  extent, 
thinks  in  these  terms.  Walter  Packard  was  one  of  the  first,  however,  who 
pointed  out  that  a  hundred  and  sixty  acres,  or  three  hundred  and  twenty  acres 
in  the  Central  Valley  of  California,  which  might  be  worthless  without  water 
but  are  worth  a  minimum  of  a  thousand  dollars  an  acre  with  water  (sometimes 
two,  three  thousand  dollars  an  acre).   Thus,  thanks  to  publicly  subsidized 
water,  a  husband  and  wife  might  have  three  hundred  and  twenty  thousand 
dollars  worth  of  land.   That's  not  a  "family  farm,"  and  to  work  such  a  farm 
you'd  need  another  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars  worth  of  mechanical 
equipment,  raising  the  total  capital  investment  of  three  hundred  and  twenty 
irrigated  acres  to  half  a  million  dollars. 

Well,  if  you  could  combine  such  units  in  a  still  larger  marketing  unit, 
as  indeed  agri-business  does,  you  would  have  substantial  dividends.   The 
trouble  with  Delhi,  in  retrospect,  would  seem  that  it  was  under-funded; 


it  was  probably  not  big  enough;  and  they  also  ran  into  some  hard  luck.   I 
think  they  got  enough  results  to  show  that  the  experiment  was  worthwhile. 
Whenever  Walter  was  able  to  implement  his  programs  on  a  proper  scale,  and  his 
supreme  triumph  was,  of  course,  in  Greece,  the  rewards  were  astounding 
to  everyone  except  Walter  who  foresaw  that  they  would  pay  off  in  this  way. 

This  has  long  been  one  of  the  canons  in  the  bible  of  socialism,  but 
Walter's  socialism  was  not  at  all  reverential.   Still  less,  of  course, 
was  it  fanatical  or  totalitarian.   It  was  a  deeply  personalized  concept  of 
socialism. . .well,  at  one  level  you  could  say  it  was  to  turn  the  world  into  a 
gigantic  Berkeley  Co-op. 

But  why  was  that?  Because  he  believed  that  the  consumer,  rather  than 
the  producer,  was  the  unit  for  planning.   Now,  in  Marxist  theory  there  should 
be  an  identity  of  interest  between  producer  and  consumer.   The  fact  is, 
however,  that  if  the  producer  decides  to  produce  heavy  steel  girders  rather 
than  light  steel  for  a  toaster  or  some  other  convenience  for  a  housewife  -- 
suppose,  for  instance,  that  a  socialist  government  is  more  interested  in 
making  locomotives  than  washing  machines  --  the  consumer  may  not  feel  that 
his  interests  are  being  represented  in  the  short  run.   There's  not  necessarily 
an  identity  of  interests. 

This  gets  very  complex  in  agriculture  and  Walter  formulated  a  complete 
system  to  overcome  its  theoretical  difficulties.   In  his  last  years  he  tried 
to  write  it  again  and  again  in  a  rather  unwritable  book  because  it  would 
have  taken  the  equivalent  of  the  French  Philosophes ,  the  encyclopedists  of 
the  18th  century,  writing  continuously  on  many  fronts,  to  deal  with  the  full 
complexity.   But  it  was  all  in  his  head.   By  his  theory,  as  I  understood  it, 
you  would  reorganize  the  world  economy  on  a  truly  third  world  basis  which 
followed  neither  the  American  nor  the  Soviet  model,  still  less  the  muddling, 
the  losing-through  of  countries  like  India.   Not  "winning-through"  but  the 
"losing-through."  What  you  would  have  was  a  socialist  organization  of  the 
economy  based  on  consumer  needs.   You  would  plan  for  the  needs  of  the  people. 
This  would  mean  that  you  would  not  only  plan  to  feed  them  but  to  feed  them 
in  such  a  way  that  the  land,  water,  and  other  resources  would  be  husbanded 
at  the  same  time. 

In  principle  such  planning  would  be  no  different,  say,  from  good  public 
education.  You  would  do  everything  in  behalf  of  people,  or  rather  the  people 
would  do  things  in  their  own  behalf,  and  then  the  system  of  production  would 
somehow  fall  into  line. 

He  had  not  the  slightest  question  that  this  was  the  most  rational 
organization  of  society.   Unfortunately,  not  too  many  people  even  were  at  this 
conceptual  plane.   Very  few  planners  really  grasp  the  dichotomy  between  the 
consumer-oriented  economy  and  the  producer-oriented  economy. 

What  made  this  so  significant  to  me  was  his  bringing  in  the  quality  of 
environment  into  the  dry  science  of  economics.   Now,  other  people,  such  as 
Galbraith,  have  done  this  very  brilliantly,  but  Galbraith  has  done  this  as 


a  pragraatist,  a  Keynesian.  Walter  was  not  a  Keynsian  economist.   He  was  a 
logical  theoretician  who  had  a  complete  socialism  of  his  own.   He  argued  that 
even  if  you  could  apply  parts  of  his  system,  for  example  in  Greece  where  he 
thought  primarily  of  the  people  as  consumers  --  very  deprived  consumers  -- 
human  happiness  would  be  greatly  incresed.   He  thought  the  same  way  in 
Mexico  and  Puerto  Rico,  wherever  he  worked.   I  should  add  that  beyond  being  a 
brilliant  theoretical  economist,  he  was  an  excellent  agricultural  scientist. 
He  knew  the  land.   This  paid  off  tremendously  in  Greece  where  he  understood 
the  soil.   He  was  a  first-rate  agronomist,  and  his  competence  in  other 
technical  and  scientific  fields  was  really  impressive. 

For  example  he  was  deeply  interested  in  metals  which  are  relatively 
scarce,  such  as  manganese,  and  that  the  United  States  with  less  than  a  tenth 
of  the  people  in  the  world  (really  only  seven  percent  of  the  people  in  the  world) 
was  consuming  ninety-eight  percent  of  some  of  these  metals.  We  probably  consume 
ninety  percent  of  the  world  manganese  supply.   Certainly  far  out  of  proportion 
to  the  American  population. 

He  saw  imperialism  in  its  most  naked  aspect  as  the  seizure  of  resources 
by  force  and  as  soon  as  the  countries  whose  resources  were  being  seized  were 
no  longer  supine,  or  at  least  no  longer  ignorant,  they  would  seek  to  recover 
these  resources  or  at  least  resist  being  bled.  Walter  could  see  an  area  like 
the  Congo  very  accurately  and  understood  why  Katanga  was  made  a  separate  province, 
He  was  quite  aware  of  the  Rockerfeller  interests,  the  Belgian  mining  consortium. 
For  a  man  who  in  personal  manner  belonged  to  the  nineteenth  century  with  its 
warmth  and  goodness  and  charm  --  its  almost  rural  charm,  the  charm  of  an  lowan 
from  that  generation  --  he  was  certainly  well-informed  about  the  corporate 
intricacies  of  the  twentieth  ".entury. 

He  was  educated  at  Ames,  and  if  you've  ever  been  to  Ames,  you  know  what 
a  gracious  place  it  is.   Iowa  is  a  great  civilization,  and  both  in  Iowa  and 
New  England  the  Packard  family  had  wonderful  ancestors.   One  Mrs.  Elizabeth  W. 
Packard,  Walter  Packard's  grandmother,  the  woman  who  was  the  great  reformer  for 
mental  illness.   She  was  for  women's  liberation  and  she  was  of  the  same  genera 
tion  as  Margaret  Fuller,  Buckminster  Fuller's  aunt. 

And  you  know,  there's  a  great  similarity  between  Bucky  Fuller  and  Walter 
Packard  --  these  fearless  American  intellectuals  who  are  willing  to  tackle 
everything  on  a  global  basis  and  who  have  tremendous  faith  in  science  as  well 
as  in  properly  applied  technology.  Walter  was  much  more  sophisticated  than 
Buckminster  Fuller  about  politics,  but  they  both  had  this  rare  personal  kindness 
as  well  as  profound  conviction.   They  came  out  from  the  same  Protestant  liberal 
tradition  or  radical  tradition.   I  think  it's  correct  to  call  it  radical.   If 
I  recall  rightly,  her  husband  tried  to  commit  Walter's  grandmother  to  a  mental 
institution,  and  she  was  among  the  first  to  insist  on  proper  legal  safeguards 
for  the  mentally  ill  against  being  wrongly  confined  to  institutions  against 
their  will,  especially  if  sometimes  they  just  had  radical  ideas  rather  than  any 
great  trouble  with  their  brain. 

To  appreciate  this  heritage  one  must  go  to  Iowa  and  see  these  old  Protes 
tant  communities  with  their  liberal  arts  colleges.  Beneath  the  dome  of  the  Iowa 
state  capitol,  the  rotunda,  the  balustrades  and  pavements  and  walls  of  the  great 

space,  are  inscribed  with  the  names  of  the  Iowa  dead  in  the  Civil  War  and  you 
are  staggered  to  see  the  carnage  which  this  little  agricultural  state  endured. 
It  is  poignant  even  now  to  see  all  these  names.  And  then  you  look  up  and  in 
the  dome  there's  a  great  eagle  carrying  in  its  talons  a  ribbon  which  says, 
"Union  and  Liberty,  Now  and  Forever."  That  an  agricultural  society  did  this 
for  union  and  liberty  --  made  such  a  conspicuous  sacrifice  --  not  for  the  indus 
trial  north  but  for  the  agrarian  west  --  is  very  moving  to  me.   Iowa  with  its 
rich  farms  is  outwardly  a  conservative  state,  but  there  has  always  been  much 
healthy  ferment  in  Iowa  and  the  Packards  represent  its  finest  nineteenth  cen 
tury  values . 

Then,  too,  they  knew  California  when  it  was  still  largely  unspoiled. 
I  remember  Walter  telling  me  of  riding,  on  horseback  of  course,  from  Pasadena 
to  Orange  County.   This  must  have  been  the  1890 's  when  he  was  a  young  man. 
The  splendid  valley  below  the  San  Gabriel  Mountains,  the  great  valley  that  goes 
past  Riverside  out  towards  San  Bernardino,  was  then  totally  unspoiled  and  he 
told  me  of  sleeping  beneath  the  stars  and  he  had  this  feeling  for  the  land 
wherever  he  went.   He  could  go  to  Mexico,  Puerto  Rico,  Greece,  or  any  place  in 
the  United  States,  and  feel  the  veracity  of  the  earth.   He  knew  that  men  could 
violate  the  dictates  of  the  earth  at  their  gravest  peril.   That  is,  you  could 
modify  the  earth  as  he  did  in  Greece.   You  could  heal  the  earth  where  it  had 
been  wounded;  you  could  restore  it.   You  could  work  with  the  earth,  but  you 
could  not  plunder  the  earth.   You  had  to  farm  it  rather  than  mine  it,  and  I 
think  if  he  had  had  a  chance  to  do  so  in  Puerto  Rico  he  would  have  had  a  grand 
coup.   Probably  the  present  Supreme  Court  would  not  have  declared  his  programs 
unconsitutional ,  but  Walter  and  Rex  Tugwell  had  to  contend  with  the  "Nine  Old 
Men"  of  the  Thirties. 

Another  significant  contribution  was  his  work  for  the  Farm  Security 
Administration.   No  one  felt  more  deeply  the  tragedy  of  the  Oakies  and  Arkies 
than  Walter  Packard.   He  understood  the  entire  process  that  had  driven  these 
unfortunates  from  their  farms  and  across  the  continent  to  California  where  they 
worked  not  as  independent  farmers  but  as  migrant  pickers  or  laborers.   The  mal 
treatment  of  the  land  during  and  after  the  World  War  I  wheat  boom,  the  almost 
institutionalized  greed  in  farming  for  a  boom  market  of  this  sort  --  literally 
ruined  the  land,  and  nature  struck  back  as  it  will  when  it's  wounded,  as  we're 
finding  out  it  does  all  over  the  world  now.  Walter,  moved  by  civilized  compas 
sion  for  these  people,  acted  powerfully  to  help  them. 

One  of  the  things  he  did  was  put  them  in  the  best  low-cost  rural  housing 
in  the  history  of  modern  architecture.   At  this  time  his  daughter  Emmy  Lou  was 
married  to  a  brilliant  young  architect  named  Burton  Cairns,  who  was  to  die  in 
a  tragic  automobile  accident.   Cairns  was  the  partner  of  Vernon  DeMars,  who  has 
since  designed  the  student  center  at  the  University  of  California,  and  who  has 
considerable  importance  as  a  social  architect. 

DeMars,  Cairns,  and  other  excellent  young  architects  and  planners  who 
either  had  been  Walter's  students  or  were  Emmy  Lou's  friends,  joined  his  staff, 
and  some  who  did  not  actually  work  for  him  participated  conceptually  in  the 
problems  confronting  him.   It  was  characteristic  of  Walter  that  gifted  young 
men  were  always  clustered  about  him,  and  many  of  them  are  ornaments  of  the  design 
professors  and  of  the  faculty  of  the  University  of  California  today.   They  are 


now  in  their  fifties.   Garrett  Eckbo,  Vernon  DeMars ,  Francis  Violich,  Jack 
Kent  (T.J.  Kent,  Jr.)  and  others  formed  a  group  called  Telesis.   Today  the  word 
"futurism"  is  very  common,  but  it  was  not  in  the  Thirties  when  these  men  were 
young  and  Walter  was  in  his  prime,  and  they  thought  of  the  whole  future  of  man's 
habitat.   It  was  the  first  movement  of  its  kind  that  elevated  California  environ 
mental  theory  to  the  highest  international  level.   Elsewhere  there  had  been 
groups  such  as  CIAM  --  the  International  Congress  of  Modern  Architects  --  which 
issued  its  charter  of  Athens  in  1933.   There  was  the  MARS  Group  in  London  -- 
they  all  had  initials  or  trick  names.   But  never  before  in  California  had  there 
been  environmental  thought  at  this  level.  Although  there  had  been  some  planning, 
there  was  not  school  of  planning  at  the  University.   Jack  Kent  started  the  De 
partment  of  City  and  Regional  Planning  after  the  war.   He  was  a  friend  of  Emmy 
Lou's,  of  course,  and  of  the  Packards.   They  didn't  live  too  far  away  from  one 
another  on  the  north  side. 

But,  Walter  Packard  was  the  soul  of  this  Telesis  Group.   He  got  his  son- 
in-law  (I  don't  know  if  he  was  then  already  his  son-in-law,  but  he  was  soon  to 
be)  and  DeMars  and  other  young  architects,  all  from  the  Bay  Area  pretty  much,  to 
do  the  Farm  Security  structures  which  to  this  day  in  our  country  remain  unsur 
passed  for  dignity  and  economy  in  housing  for  poor,  rural  people. 

These  buildings  of  uncompromising  modern  architecture  gained  international 
renown.   They  made  Vernon  DeMars'  reputation.   People  like  J.M.  Richards  put 
them  in  his  History  of  Modern  Architecture.   There  are  still  some  of  those  housing 
complexes  left  and  they  look  very  good  thirty  years  after,  considering  how  little 
money  they  cost,  which  was  less  than  war  housing  a  few  years  later.  What  a  bar- 
gin  the  public  got! 

These  buildings  were  just  like  Walter  Packard  himself.   They  were  straight 
forward,  they  were  at  home  in  nature,  they  were  as  cordial  as  they  could  be 
within  the  budget  allowed  and  they  did  not  design  down  to  poor  people.   They  demon 
strated  that  poor  people  should  have  the  best  of  design  within  the  resources 
available.   This  was  Walter's  spirit. 

Walter  had  a  way  of  communicating  his  enthusiasms.   I  was  a  member  of  his 
group  that  was  going  to  try  to  free  Berkeley  from  its  servitude  to  P.G.  and  E., 
and  persuade  the  city  to  establish  its  own  public  power  system  in  cooperation 
with  several  other  Bay  Area  communities.   This  was  when  he  was  in  his  later  sev 
enties.   To  his  last  day,  of  course,  he  was  the  staunchest  advocate  of  public 
power.   He  believed  it  should  belong  to  the  people.  And  of  course,  Palo  Alto 
and  other  cities  have  gone  far  to  do  this  even  without  public  ownership.   Palo 
Alto  buys  power  wholesale  from  P.G.  and  E.  and  then  retails  it  at  low  rates  to 
consumers.   Berkeley,  lacking  such  intelligent  policy,  allows  P.G.  and  E.  to 
retail  power. 

What  Walter  wanted  to  do  was  liberate  several  Bay  Area  communities,  in 
cluding  Santa  Clara  and  Palo  Alto  from  any  connection  with  P.G.  and  E.   Together 
they  could  build  their  own  nuclear  reactor.   Now,  it  was  typical  of  Walter  that 
he  was  very  early  receptive  to  the  idea  of  a  nuclear  reactor  In  the  Delta.   He 
had  not  the  slighest  doubt  that  technical  difficulties  could  be  overcome,  and 
I  was  a  member  of  that  group  and  I  remember  how  exhilarating  his  enthusiasm  was. 
He  was,  of  course,  deeply  critical  of  any  private  manipulation  of  public  invest 
ment  in  water  or  power.   He  rightly  saw  that  energy,  together  with  water  and  the 


land  itself,  is  the  key  to  the  wealth  of  any  community. 

For  this  reason  he  was  irreconcilably  opposed  to  the  unwise  State  Water 
Plan,  which  will  enrich  large  landowners  at  the  expense  of  the  poor.   The 
Washington  Post  published  his  strong  views  on  the  subject  in  an  article  that 
should  be  reprinted  because  of  its  relevance  today.   I  was  involved  because  I 
asked  the  editors  of  the  Post  to  give  prominence  to  Walter's  views  and  they 
suggested  a  dialogue  or  debate  between  him  and  some  worthy  opponent,  and  they 
found  Senator  Kuchel.   The  Senator's  views  occupied  one  half  of  the  pages  and 
Walter's  the  other  with  a  map  of  California  dividing  the  two  articles,  but  an 
entire  philosophy  of  life  separated  the  two.   Kuchel  was  not  a  bad  senator. 
But  he  was  very  bad  on  water  policy  as  were  leading  men  in  both  political  parties 
in  California,  and  the  state  is  now  regretting  it.  Walter  foresaw  in  1962  or 
'63  all  of  the  difficulties  that  we  are  in  today.   He  also  clearly  discerned  the 
unconscionable  enrichment  of  the  large  private  land  owners  through  the  circum 
vention  of  the  1902  law.  What  the  State  Plan  proposed  is  illegal.   If  the 
Reclamation  Act  were  enforced  properly,  as  Walter  said  it  should  be,  there  could 
be  no  violation  of  the  160-acre  limitation  by  a  separate  state  stystem  whose 
waters  intermingled  with  Federal  waters.   Paul  Taylor,  who  was  Walter's  student, 
keeps  on  with  that  fight,  and  he  has  succeeded  Walter  as  the  great  man  of  land 
and  water  conservation  in  California.   Between  men  of  Paul  Taylor's  age  and  the 
present  generation  of  young  people  who  are  just  starting  to  learn  that  this  is 
their  fight,  too,  there  are  relatively  few  people  who  have  shared  in  this  strug 
gle,  and  they  belong  to  organizations  whose  names  we  have  almost  forgotten, 
like  the  Grange.   But  the  new  generation,  I'm  sure,  will  not  give  up  the  fight. 

One  of  my  happiest  thoughts  is  that  my  children  have  known  Walter  and 
Emma  Packard.   I  remember  a  beautiful  incident  that  occurred  when  Walter  was 
quite  old.   It's  interesting  that  both  he  and  Lewis  Mumford  were  rather  grieved 
that  my  children  did  not  know  much  about  gardening  and  farming.  We  were  all  to 
have  dinner  at  my  house,  and  we  wondered  where  Walter  and  the  children  were, 
and  we  found  him  out  in  the  garden  on  his  knees  teaching  them  how  to  plant  pota 
toes.   They  were  planting  potatoes  together.   It  was  very,  very  beautiful.   He 
said,  "Don't  stop  now  that  they  know  how  to  plant  potatoes."  It  made  a  deep 
impression  on  the  children  and  they  loved  his  spirit.   I  remember  his  indomitable 
spirit  after  his  automobile  crash.   You  know,  he  had  this  little  sports  car  with 
bucket  seats,  my  cousin  Henry  Brean  was  one  of  the  doctors  who  patched  him  to 
gether  after  the  accident  and  my  cousin  said,  "Everything  he  could  break,  he 
broke."  Walter  was  about  eighty,  but  his  courage  and  vigor  led  him  to  an  astound 
ing  recovery.   I  remember  he  had  a  triangle  above  his  bed  he  was  supposed  to 
work  out  on,  and  he  also  had  a  bar,  a  metal  bar,  on  which  he  was  to  exercise  and 
recover  the  movement  of  his  limbs.   He  had  a  nurse  whom  he  didn't  think  came 
quickly  enough,  and  he'd  BANG  on  this  great  triangle  to  the  delight  of  my  child 
ren.   He  also  experimented  with  the  remote  control  of  the  TV  --  then  a  novelty  -- 
and  just  delighted  them. 

But  he  was  always  filled  with  the  most  marvelous  irreverent  humor,  and, 
although  he  was  a  man  of  remarkable  personal  fastidiousness  and  refinement,  he 
had  a  heartiness  to  him  that  was  most  winning.   He  once  told  me  that  as  a  born 
troublemaker  himself,  one  of  his  favorite  quotations  in  all  history  was  Luther's 
remark,  "When I  break  wind  in  Vienna  they  smell  me  in  Rome." 


Walter  was  a  great  reformer  in  the  highest  sense,  in  the  Protestant 
sense.   Protestantism  that  is  worthy  of  our  own  age  and  which  is  out  of  fashion 
now  among  the  people  running  our  country.   But  it's  now  out  of  fashion  among 
the  young  people  and  I  think  that  the  great  march  for  People's  Park  last  spring, 
with  the  students  carrying  green  banners,  and  flying  green  kites,  and  defying 
everything  that  was  ugly  and  repressive,  in  a  sense  vindicated  the  gay  spirit  of 
Walter.   How  he  would  have  liked  that  green  paper  helicopter  that  was  such  a 
wonderful  satire  of  the  Army  helicopters,  bedecked  with  flowers  and  flying  the 
kites  that  fouled  the  rotors  of  the  military  helicopters.   How  that  would  have 
appealed  to  his  sense  of  merriment.'   But,  as  all  these  young  people  marched, 
Walter  was  marching  with  them.   He  was  a  very  great  man. 

The  greatest  teachers  are  not  professional  teachers.  Although  Walter 
did  teach,  I  think  at  Stanford  and  Harvard,  he  was  primarily  a  man  of  action 
who  understood  the  real  world  from  a  solid  intellectual  base.   He  had  something 
to  say,  and  he  quickened  to  any  subject.   His  range  was  so  wide  and  his  confi 
dence  was  so  deep  that  he  had  this  extraordinary  power  of  elucidating  the  most 
knotty  problems  of  our  time,  and  young  people  warmed  to  this  particularly  when 
they  saw  he  shared  a  radical  position. 

Alan  Temko 

Lecturer  in  Social  Science 

Introduction  tape-recorded 

2  February  1970 

650  Barrows  Hall 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley 



by  Carey  McWilliaras,  Editor,  The  Nation 

Without  checking  through  files  and  records,  many  of  which  are  in 
California,  I  would  be  unable  to  say  when  I  first  met  Walter  Packard.   But 
I  knew  him  for  many  years  in  an  on-and-off  manner,  with  infrequent  but 
always  memorable  meetings,  and  occasionally  we  exchanged  letters.   But 
we  had  other  modes  of  communication,  as  when  I  read  something  he  had  written 
or  heard  of  him  and  about  him  from  mutual  friends.   As  a  matter  of  fact 
I  knew  of  him  long  before  we  met. 

There  was  a  Walter  Packard  legend  in  his  lifetime.   The  qualities 
that  the  legend  stressed  were  real  enough  but  he  was  an  even  finer  human 
being  when  you  got  to  know  him  than  the  legendary  Walter  Packard.  My 
impressions  can  be  summed  up  simply.   He  was  a  good  man.   Goodness  pervaded 
every  aspect  of  his  life.   He  radiated  goodness.   There  was  no  malice  in 
him  --  none  that  I  could  ever  detect  --  and  no  pettiness.   He  was  a  very 
wise  man  too.   Sometimes  he  kept  his  wisdom  in  check,  that  is  you  felt  -- 
I  felt  --  that  he  could  have  said  more  about  some  person  or  some  situation 
if  he  could  have  done  so  without  appearing  to  be  unkind. 

I  feel  sure  that  his  great  qualities  --  his  remarkable  qualities  as  a 
human  being  --  were  a  prime  factor  in  his  social  achievements  in  Greece. 
The  villagers  with  whom  he  worked  knew  that  this  was  a  good  man  --  a 
person  they  could  trust.   He  won  their  cooperation  because  he  had  their 
confidence  and  also  because  what  he  wanted  --  and  they  knew  this  --  was 
their  cooperation,  not  their  compliance  with  directives. 

His  goodness  was  infectious;  so  was  his  optimism,  his  good  cheer, 
his  sense  that  this  could  be  a  better  world  for  everyone.   For  all  that  we 
say  we  are  "democrats"  and  believe  in  democracy,  it  is  remarkable  that 
one  meets  so  few  Americans  who  really  understand  democratic  principles 
and  try  to  apply  them  and  who  have  confidence  that,  if  tried,  they  will 
work.  Walter  Packard  was  such  a  person.   He  was  one  of  the  few  individuals 
I  have  known  who  had  thought  deeply,  steadily,  and  acutely  about  what 
democracy  means  and  what  it  does  not  mean.   His  social  philosophy  was 
profoundly  democratic. 

We  were  not  intimate  friends  --  we  exchanged  no  confidences.   But  I 
shall  always  cherish  my  memories  of  this  great  and  good  man. 

Carey  McWilliams 

New  York 
August  25,  1969 

t  COPY] 


Hotel  Grande-Bretagne 
Athenes,  Greece 

April  26,  1962 
Dear  Walter  Packard: 

With  this  report  on  my  Hellenic  Hegira  are  transmitted  officially 
the  greetings  of  a  considerable  section  of  the  Greek  Walter  Packard  public. 
In  fact,  I  am  beginning  to  feel  as  if  through  you  I  am  in  on  the  birth 
of  a  new  saga  of  Greek  Mythology,  whereby  2000  years  from  now  Walter 
Packard  will  have  moved  into  the  legends  of  the  gods  along  with  Achilles, 
Hector,  Theseus  and  the  children  will  no  longer  hear  of  the  Labors  of 
Herakles  but  of  the  Work  of  Walter. 

Anyway,  after  landing  at  Patras ,  motoring  to  Olympia,  Delphi,  and 
Athens,  joining  up  with  my  shipmates  for  a  week  of  charter-boat  sailing 
among  the  Aegean  Islands  (most  successful  despite  very  rough  seas)  Mary 
and  I  got  rid  of  most  of  our  companions  and  started  down  the  Packard 
trail  in  Athens.   I  called  on  and  identified  myself  to  Professor  Pezopolous 
of  the  Public  Power  Authority,  John  Paleologue,  head  of  Greek  Reclamation, 
George  Papadoupoulos ,  head  of  Greek  Reclamation  and  Frixos  Letsas.   In 
each  case,  long  and  interesting  conversations  followed  but  only  after  they 
demanded  (and  I  happily  supplied)  a  report  on  your  present  welfare,  health 
and  activity. 

I  should  judge  your  Greek  National  Power  System  is  the  outstanding 
success  of  the  American-Greek  program.   I  saw  new  transmission  lines  all 
over  the  country  and  the  Greeks  are  wasting  kilowatts  all  over  the  country 
with  illuminated  advertising  signs  and  similar  manifestations  of  progress 
as  well  as  power  into  remote  rural  settlements  such  as  the  Rural  Electri 
fication  Administration  would  have  passed  up  at  home.   This  month  the 
Greek  Public  Power  System  finished  the  take-over  of  the  Athens-Piraeus 
old  British  concession  corporation  system  (at  what  I  suspect  was  too  high 
a  price)  and  the  program  for  which  you  fought  and  bled  has  most  definitely 
won  out.   In  fact,  I  know  no  other  spot  on  the  globe  where  by  American 
activity  such  a  public  power  program  has  become  so  firmly  established 
with  such  success.   Congratulations! 

At  the  Reclamation  service  office  of  John  Paleologue  there  immediately 
appeared  George  Papadoupoulos  and  Frixos  Letsas  and  we  held  old  home 
week.   Papadoupoulos  in  particular,  knew  all  about  me  as  he  was  a  former 
U.S.  Reclamation  trainee  from  Greece.   In  addition  to  Walter  Packard's 
introduction  the  others  there  were  naturally  familiar  with  U.S.  Reclamation. 
First  came  the  inquiries  about  and  the  report  on  Walter  Packard  followed 
by  a  long  and  very  interesting  session  on  water  development  in  which  they 
asked  me  more  questions  than  I  asked  them.   Also,  I  told  them  my  life  would 
not  be  complete  until  I  saw  the  Anthili  project  and  the  graven  image  of 
Walter  Packard  in  the  town  square. 

Which  to  the  best  of  my  knowledge  is  the  only  one  to  an  American 
engineer  in  any  aid  program  overseas,  as  most  other  American  engineers  were 


eventually  told  "Yankee,  Go  Home"  instead  of  having  local  statues  in  their 
honor . 

The  next  day  in  one  car  supplied  by  myself  and  one  by  Paleologue 
with  a  fine  young  English  speaking  Reclamation  official  Vasilios  G. 
Karavias  as  escort  (he  is  an  ex-Bureau  trainee)  we  made  the  long  and 
fascinating  trip  to  Anthili  all  in  one  day  instead  of  stopping  the  night 
at  Delphi  as  you  suggested  as  we  had  earlier  visited  Delphi  and  we  took 
with  us  my  Chicago  Surgeon  brother  and  his  doctor  wife.   It  took  us  about 
14  hours  including  stops  and  visits  to  two  Reclamation  regional  head 
quarters  en-route.   It  was  worth  while  as  we  got  into  Greek  territory  and 
activity  never  found  on  the  archeological  and  nautical  circuits. 

At  Anthili  as  per  directions,  Mary  greatly  enjoyed  distributing 
a  bushel  of  candy  in  the  plaza  in  front  of  your  statue  to  a  mob  of 
children  and  in  her  best  Greek  proclaiming  it  came  from  you  who  had  not 
forgotten  the  kids.   They  got  the  idea  O.K.  --  and  the  linguistic  feat  was 
made  easier  by  first  pointing  at  the  marble  bust,  then  the  candy,  and  then 
the  kids. 

I  went  all  over  the  rice  project  --  an  obvious  success  --  and  the 
Greeks  roasted  a  lamb  for  us,  we  had  dinner  and  we  all  made  we-love-you 
speeches  to  each  other.  Among  the  other  things  I  told  them  that  if  they 
did  not  clear  the  heavy  weeds  out  of  their  deep  drains  you  would  be  back 
to  haunt  them  --an  idea  that  only  drew  unsolicited  and  unexpected 

Last  night  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Letsas,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  John  Paleologue  and 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  George  Papdoupoulos  threw  a  dinner  for  the  Dr.  Strauses, 
Mary  and  myself  in  an  Athens  taverna  that  was  strictly  social  and  a 
howling  success.   A  message  to  you,  a  testimonial  and  signatures  are 
enclosed.   Pictures  will  follow  in  a  few  months  when  we  get  them  developed. 

Thank  you,  Walter  for  the  Greek  introduction  that  was  so  fruitful. 
I  can  understand  why  you  look  back  with  such  justifiable  pride  on  your 
Greek  experience. 

Shortly  we  leave  Greece  for  Jugoslavia,  Austria,  Central  Europe,  then 
Scandinavia  and  home  --  or  at  least  an  island  off  Maine  for  we  rented  our 
Washington  house  until  September  which  we  took  care  of  our  own  instead 
of  everybody  else's  business.   I  feel  like  a  deserter  from  the  CVP  fight 
but  will  re-enlist  again  on  my  return. 

As  ever, 

Michael  W.  Straus 

Commissioner  of  Reclamation  in  the 
Truman  Administration. 



Walter  E.  Packard  was  interviewed  for  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office 
as  a  part  of  series  on  agriculture,  land,  and  resources  development  for 
which  Paul  S.  Taylor,  Professor  of  Economics,  served  as  faculty  advisor. 

Start  of  Interview 

Because  of  his  long  and  illustrious  career  in  California,  the  United 
States,  Greece,  and  Latin  America  as  a  pioneer  in  combining  land,  people, 
and  the  available  natural  resources  into  a  productive  unit,  Walter  Packard 
was  asked  in  1962  to  participate  in  the  interviewing  program  of  the  Regional 
Oral  History  Office.   At  that  time  Mr.  Packard  was  busily  engaged  in  pre 
paring  a  manuscript  on  the  economic  theories  he  had  evolved  from  his 
experiences  and  the  interviewing  was  postponed. 

In  February  of  1962  Mr.  Packard  was  hospitalized  because  of  an 
automobile  accident.   Although  almost  no  funds  were  then  available,  it 
was  decided  to  go  ahead  with  interviewing  as  soon  as  Mr.  Packard  was 
able,  using  his  papers  as  the  major  source  of  background  material.   The 
interviewer  visited  Mr.  Packard  in  a  convelescent  home  where  the  outlines 
of  the  interviews  were  established,  and  subsequently  spent  many  hours  with 
Mrs.  Packard  going  over  papers  and  getting  the  Packard  chronology  from 

Upon  Mr.  Packard's  return  home,  the  weekly  interviewing  began.  At 
the  same  time,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Packard  devoted  much  time  to  sorting  and 
arranging  their  papers  preparatory  to  depositing  them  in  The  Bancroft  Library. 
Mr.  Packard  worked  at  these  two  tasks  with  increasing  vigor  as  he  recovered 
from  his  accident. 

Time  and  Setting  of  Interviews 

Eight  interview  sessions  were  held  in  April  and  May  1964;  one  final 
recording  session  was  held  August  15,  1966,  two  months  before  Mr. 
Packard's  death.   Present  were  Walter  E.  Packard,  Mrs.  Emma  Packard,  and 
the  interviewer,  Mrs.  Willa  Baum. 

The  interviews  were  held  one  afternoon  a  week,  at  the  Packard  home  at 
773  Cragmont  Avenue,  Berkeley.   The  tape  recorder  was  set  up  at  the  dining 
table,  next  to  a  large  window  overlooking  the  Bay.   On  one  side  of  the 
table,  with  notes,  was  the  interviewer;  on  the  other  side,  Mr.  Packard  with 
a  large  pile  of  illustrative  papers,  and  Mrs  Packard  next  to  him  to  aid 
him  in  reading  the  materials  his  eyes  could  no  longer  cope  with.  Mr. 
Packard  always  started  with  a  prepared  text,  sometimes  handwritten  in  full, 
sometimes  only  minutely  planned  by  means  of  copious  notes,  with  materials 
to  be  read  at  the  proper  points.   He  confessed  to  'mic  fright"  often  and 


his  remarks  were  always  more  formal  during  the  interview  than  in  the  times 
when  he  and  the  interviewer  were  rummaging  around  in  the  papers  he  had 
in  his  garden  study. 

Mrs.  Packard  was  more  apt  to  speak  informally  and  to  add  the  personal 
dimension  to  the  narrative,  and  her  remarks  have  been  retained  throughout. 

Midway  through  each  interview  session,  there  was  always  a  break  when 
Mrs.  Packard  would  serve  the  weekly  bake  of  oatmeal  cookies  with  coffee. 
Then  the  interviewer  would  take  a  few  minutes  to  admire  the  mementoes  of 
Greece  and  Mexico  on  the  shelves,  the  paintings  and  prints  on  the  walls, 
many  by  daughter  Emmy  Lou  Packard ,  or  to  note  the  new  blooms  in  the  terraced 
garden  in  the  back. 


There  was  a  delay  of  about  a  year  in  transcribing,  due  to  lack  of  funds. 
During  this  period  Mr.  Packard  worked  on  sorting  his  papers  for  deposit  in 
Bancroft  Library,  and  on  rewriting  his  economic  philosophy  book.  As  his  strength 
returned,  he  devoted  more  and  more  time  to  work  for  public  power,  and  was 
instrumental  in  organizing  the  California  Power  Users  Association.   In  January 
1965,  UC  Extension  held  a  showing  of  Ed  Murrow's  movie  of  Mr.  Packard's  work 
in  Greece,  which  was  attended  by  many  faculty  members  in  the  agricultural 
fields  and  by  friends  of  the  Packard  family. 

The  transcripts  of  the  interviews  were  returned  one  by  one  in  June  and 
July  of  1965.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Packard  each  went  over  every  interview  carefully 
and  did  considerable  revising  and  adding  of  material.   Some  sample  documents 
were  added  to  the  transcript  --  all  the  other  documents  were  placed  in  The 
Bancroft  Library  where  they  may  be  consulted  by  researchers.   Editing  work 
by  the  Packards  continued  through  the  summer  of  1966. 

At  that  time  Mr.  Packard  became  ill  and  had  to  withdraw  from  his  public 
power  work.   He  wished  to  record  that  phase  of  his  work  which  had  taken  place 
after  the  close  of  the  interviewing,  and  that  brief  interview  was  recorded 
on  August  15,  1966,  but  Mr.  Packard  was  not  well  enough  to  relate  his  work 
in  as  much  detail  as  he  would  have  liked.   He  was  able  to  complete  the 
corrections  on  that  brief  interview  just  a  week  before  his  death  in  October 

It  had  been  Mr.  Packard's  intention  to  review  the  manuscript  in  its 
entirety  one  more  time.  Mrs.  Packard  took  on  that  job  after  his  death  and 
reread  and  checked  the  whole  thing,  but  made  no  changes  except  to  correcc 
name  s . 

Final  Typing  and  Completion 

Again  the  work  was  halted  through  lack  of  funds.   The  faculty  members 
whom  Mr.  Packard  had  worked  with  in  the  early  days  of  the  Resettlement 


Administration  --  "Walter's  boys"  as  Mrs.  Packard  called  them  —  Garret 
Eckbo,  Francis  Violich,  Vernon  DeMars,  and  especially  a  younger  admirer, 
architectural  critic  Alan  Temko,  were  eager  to  see  the  Packard  manuscript 
completed  for  research  use.  Through  their  efforts,  funding  was  obtained 
from  the  Department  of  Landscape  Architecture  for  final  typing,  and  a  check 
from  the  Western  History  Research  Center  of  the  University  of  Wyoming  made 
possible  the  final  photocopying.   Alan  Temko  prepared  an  introduction. 

Willa  Klug  Baum,  Head 
Regional  Oral  History  Office 

486  The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley 

2  April  1970 


Packard  Forebears 

[First  Interview  -  April  13,  1964.   Subsequent  interviews 
are  not  dated  because  Mr.  Packard  rearranged  and  revised 
the  material  substantially  from  the  original  interviews.] 

Packard:    It  seems  to  me  that,  in  recording  my  life  story,  I  should 

begin  by  mentioning  what  we  in  the  family  call  "the  Packard 
conscience".   I  don't  know  what  the  psychologists  would 
name  it.   But,  in  any  case,  it  was  very  real.   It  appeared 
first  as  a  dedication  to  religious  beliefs,  which  dominated 
the  personal  character  and  social  behavior  of  my  forebears. 
Their  beliefs  were  not  always  consistent  or  rational,  but 
they  were  held  with  a  tenacity  which  gives  meaning  to  the 
"Packard  conscience".   In  my  own  case,  this  inner  impulse 
has,  over  the  years,  led  me  to  choose  employment  on  public 
enterprises  designed  to  serve  the  general  welfare  rather 
than  being  dedicated  to  individual  profit  making.   This 
does  not  mean  that  I  was  a  "do  gooder"  or  that  I  lacked 
an  inner  urge  to  make  money.   It  means,  rather,  that  my 
controlling  impulse  was  conditioned  by  the  "Packard 
conscience".   My  story,  therefore,  is  not  the  story  of 
one  who  started  out  with  a  well-established  philosophy 
of  life,  but  rather  the  story  of  a  neophyte  or  "innocent 

Packard:    abroad",  who,  through  experiences—good  and  bad--  and  through 
continuing  study,  has  developed  a  democratic  philosophy- 
economic,  social,  and  political—which  to  him  seems  to  make 
sense . 

The  Packards  were  originally  the  PiccSrds  in  France; 
they  were  French  Huguenots  who  moved  first  to  Holland  and 
then  to  England  and  in  the  moving  their  name  was  changed 
to  Packard.   Samuel  Packard  of  Windham,  Norfolk  County, 
England,  was  the  father  of  the  Packard  family  in  the 
United  States.   He  moved  from  England  in  1638  with  his  wife 
and  family  and  settled  in  Plymouth  colony  eighteen  years 
after  the  landing  of  the  colonists  at  Plymouth  Rock.   He 
moved  to  Bridgewater  in  1664,  and  became  an  officer  there. 
He  and  his  sons  were  engaged  in  the  great  Indian  wars 
of  that  period.   He  was  more  interested  in  political  liberties 
than  he  was  in  religious  liberties;   he  was  primarily  inter 
ested  in  freedom  of  expression. 

My  great-grandfather,  Theophilus  Packard,  D.D.,— 
this  was  four  generations  later— was  born  in  North  Bridgeport, 
Massachusetts  in  1765.   He  graduated  from  Dartmouth  College 
in  1796.   (Reading  from  a  genealogy  of  the  Packard  family)* 

"He  was  ordained  in  Shelbourne,  Massachusetts, 
February  20,  1799.   He  was  on  the  Board  of  Trustees 
of  Williams  College  from  1810  to  1825  and  was  on  the 
Board  of  Overseers  of  the  Fund  or  Trustees  of  Amherst 
College  from  1821  to  1854.   He  represented  Shelbourne 
in  the  state  legislature  from  1829,  1830,  and  1839. 
He  received  a  doctorate  from  Dartmouth  College  in  1824." 

^Genealogies  of  Samuel  Packard  and  of  Abel  Packard ,  by 
Rev.  Theophilus  Packard,  Jr.,  1871~T~G.  W.  Wheat  &  Co.,  1871. 

Packard:    His  son,  Theophilus  Packard,  Jr.,  was  my  grandfather, 
(reading) : 

"Reverend  Theophilus  Packard,  Jr.,  was  born  in 
Shelbourne,  Massachusetts,  February  1,  1802;   died 
December  19,  1885,  at  Manteno,  Illinois,  and  married 
Elizabeth  Parsons  Ware,  May  21,  1839,  daughter  of 
Reverend  Samuel  Ware,  who  was  born  in  Ware,  Massachusetts, 
They  had  six  children." 

The  astonishing  character  of  my  grandfather's  religious 
beliefs  is  expressed  in  various  quotes  from  his  diary. 
Here  is  what  he  wrote  about  his  first  son.   (Reading  from 
diary  of  grandfather,  Rev.  Theophilus  Packard,  Jr.) 

"Seventeenth  of  March,  1842.   My  first  child  was 
born  Thursday,  about  the  middle  of  the  forenoon.   We 
called  his  name  Theophilus  after  his  father  and  grand 
father.   On  the  day  of  his  birth  I  retired  to  a  private 
chamber  and  with  deep  solemn  emotion  of  heart  I  con 
secrated  him  to  God  by  prayer,  earnestly  beseeching 
God  to  recreate  and  renew  him  by  the  Holy  Spirit  and 
make  him  a  Christian.   On  the  first  of  May,  1842, 
Theophilus  was  baptized  in  church  by  my  father,  and 
on  the  evening  of  that  day  my  father  and  mother  gave 
me  $2  to  be  given  to  him  to  secure  some  good  book 
for  his  benefit  with  the  charge  that  he  should  in 
time  to  come,  look  on  their  graves  and  remember  them 
and  this,  their  gift  to  them  and  prepare  to  meet 
them  in  heaven.   About  twenty-five  years  afterwards 
I  sent  Theophilus  the  money,  then  $10,  and  gave  him 
the  instructions  and  charge  of  his  grandparents, 
and  may  God  use  the  same  for  the  eternal  welfare  of 
my  first-born  son.   Oh,  what  painful  anxiety  I  felt 
for  the  soul  of  this  dear  son.   From  early  childhood 
he  has  been  prayed  for  day  by  day  and  has  been  interested 
in  the  matter  of  personal  piety  and  has  been  taught 
to  pray  himself,  but  all  this  will  not  save  his  soul. 
Oh  God,  make  him  a  Christian.'"... 

"My  third  son  [my  father  -  W.P.]  was  born  November 
29,  1847,  whom  we  called  Samuel  Ware  after  his  grand 
father  Ware  and  the  ancestor  of  all  the  Packards 
in  this  country,  who  came  over  from  England  in  1630. 
My  son  Samuel  was  baptized  by  the  Rev.  Samuel  Day, 
who  preached  for  me  on  that  Sabbath.   My  heart's 
desire  and  prayer  to  God  is  that  this  son  Samuel 
may  become  a  Bible-Christian  and  serve  God  faithfully. " 

Baum:      You  must  have  had  quite  an  illustrious  family  to  have  a 
whole  book  of  genealogy  about  them. 

Packard:    Well,  the  Packard  family  is  rather  proud  of  its  heritage. 
My  grandfather  occupied  the  pulpit  in  Shelbourne  for 
a  number  of  years  and  then  due  to  ill  health  resigned  over 
the  protest  of  his  parishioners,  and  moved  first  to  Ohio 
where  he  remained  for  a  year,  and  then  to  Mt .  Pleasant, 
Iowa,  where  he  was  pastor  for  two  years.   He  then  moved 
back  to  Illinois  and  settled  first  in  Manteno,  but  lived 
in  Chicago  part  of  the  time. 

His  wife  had  a  very  different  personality  from  my 
grandfather.   She  was  reported  to  have  been  a  very  beau 
tiful  woman  and  very  popular  in  the  neighborhood.   It  was 
said  that  Henry  Ward  Beecher  was  one  of  her  suitors.   She 
had  a  very  active  mind  and  was  not  inclined  to  accept  the 
complete  orthodoxy  of  her  husband..  She  was  influenced 
by  the  Unitarian  doctrine  and  soon  became  quite  active  in 
the  Unitarian  Church.   This  difference  of  opinion  increased 
the  separation  between  the  two,  and  it  culminated  in  Manteno, 
where  she  became  so  active  in  propagandizing  her  own  ideas 
against  the  teachings  of  her  husband  in  the  church  that 
the  parishioners  petitioned  that  she  be  sent  to  a  mental 
hospital  in  Jacksonville ,  Illinois. 

Over  her  violent  protests,  and  the  protests  of  some 
others  who  took  her  side  in  the  controversy,  she  was  taken 
forcibly  to  the  state  hospital  where  she  remained  for 

Packard:    three  years.   She  was  finally  released  as  an  incurable 

patient,  according  to  the  testimony  of  the  director  of  the 
institution.   While  there  she  was  well  taken  care  of,  but 
she  created  quite  a  lot  of  disturbance  because  she  was 
still  a  propagandist.   She  resisted  being  in  the  sanitarium. 
When  she  was  finally  released  she  was  sent  to  an  insane 
asylum  in  Kankakee ,  again  over  her  protests.   She  had 
to  be  carried  out  of  the  train  and  forcibly  carried  into 
the  institution.   She  was  placed  in  common  wards  with  people 
of  various  degrees  of  insanity. 

Finally,  by  getting  letters  out,  she  got  the  attention 
of  some  leaders  on  the  outside  which  led  to  her  final  release, 
Upon  her  release  she  became  a  very  active  propagandist  for 
laws  that  would  protect  a  person  from  being  sent  to  an 
asylum  without  a  legal  hearing.   The  extent  of  her  influ 
ence  is  shown  by  the  following  quote  from  research  made 
by  Dr.  Francis  J.  Gerty: 

(This  is  from  a  clipping  from  the  newspaper,  the 
New  Mexican,  in  1958,  and  it's  headed,  "Plight  of 
Mentally  111  Aided  by  Three  Nineteenth  Century 
Women".   This  is  from  a  report  to  a  big  conference, 
and  we  wrote  to  Dr.  Gerty  after  a  niece  sent  this 

"Ever  think  to  yourself,  Boy,  what  would  I  give 
to  get  rid  of  my  wife  for  a  year  or  so.   Well,  you're 
living  a  hundred  years  too  late.   Back  in  the  1850 's 
it  was  easy.   All  you  had  do  in  some  states  was  to 
report  that  your  wife  was  acting  crazy,  sign  com 
mitment  papers,  and  have  her  whisked  away  to  the  state 
insane  asylum.   But  things  are  different  now,  and 
behind  the  legislation  to  protect  the  distaff  side,  at 
the  expense  of  adding  considerably  to  domestic  battles, 
was  the  wife  of  a  long-suffering  Presbyterian  minister. 

Packard:        In  the  words  of  Dr.  Francis  J.  Gerty,  the  new  president 
of  the  American  Psychiatric  Association,  she  was, 
"a  crackpot  who  could  look  awfully  good  fighting  for  a 
cause."  Dr.  Gerty,  head  of  psychiatry  at  University 
of  Illinois  Medical  School,  has  made  a  scholarly 
study  of  legislation  concerning  the  mentally  ill. 
According  to  him,  three  women  played  major  roles  in 
this  area.   They  were:   Dorothea  Lynn  Dix,  a  strong- 
willed  social  worker  who  brought  about  the  establishment 
of  many  state  hospitals  for  the  insane  in  the  1840 's; 
Mrs.  Elizabeth  W.  Packard,  who  was  put  away  by  her 
minister  husband  in  1860  and  following  her  release 
battled  successfully  for  personal  liberty  laws  which 
gave  everyone  a  right  to  trial  by  jury  before  being 
committed;   Mrs.  Mary  Todd  Lincoln,  wife  of  the 
sixteenth  President  of  the  United  States.   Because 
of  Mrs.  Packard's  crusade,  Mrs.  Lincoln  was  forced 
to  undergo  humiliating  public  trial  before  commitment. 
Her  case  helped  bring  about  legislation  by  which 
people  could  be  committed  more  quietly." 

In  carrying  on  her  campaign,  Mrs.  Packard  moved  to 
Chicago  where  she  purchased  a  house  and  kept  two  of  her 
children  for  a  while  and  all  of  them  later  on.   She 
supported  herself  and  her  family  by  the  writing  and 
publication  of  books,  eight  or  ten  books,  dealing  with 
various  facets  of  the  same  problem.*  There  is  one  in  the 
University  of  California  library.   Many  of  them  were  on 
her  own  experiences.   She  took  in  nearly  $50,000  [Theophilus 
Packard's  Diary  says  $10,000  -  E.  L.  P.]  from  the  sale 

Packard:    of  these  books  and  financed  a  campaign  whereby  she  success 
fully  established  legislation  governing  the  commitment 
of  people  to  insane  asylums  in  seven  [or  twelve  -  E.  L.  P.] 
different  states.   On  two  occasions  she  was  invited  to  the 
White  House  to  interview  President  Grant  in  connection 
with  getting  his  support,  which  she  did. 

Baum:      How  did  her  husband  feel  about  all  this?   I  suppose  they 
were  separated  after  that. 

Packard:    He  was,  of  course,  greatly  disturbed.   He  moved  back  to 
Massachusetts  for  a  while,  then  returned  to  Manteno, 
where  he  lived  with  a  sister  until  he  died  in  1885.   My 
grandmother  secured  a  divorce  and  supported  the  family. 

Parents,  Samuel  Ware  Packard  and  Clara  Fish  Packard; Brother  &  Sisters 
Packard:    My  father,  who  was  born  in  Shelbourne  moved  west  with  the 
family-   Now  Emmy,  will  you  read  from  that  sketch  about 
my  father?   [See  copy  of  article.]   After  establishing  a 
profitable  practice  in  Chicago,  my  father's  office  was 
destroyed  in  the  Chicago  fire  of  1871,  so  he  took  time 
off  for  a  trip  to  Denver,  Colorado.   On  his  way  the  train 
to  Denver  was  stopped  on  several  occasions  by  herds  of  buffalo 
crossing  the  tracks  on  their  trek  south.   He  spent  most 
of  his  time  in  Colorado  in  hunting  buffalo.   The  stories 
of  the  Chicago  fire  and  of  his  exploits  with  Mudeater  and 
Prairie  Dog  Dave  of  buffalo  hunting  days,  used  to  thrill  us 
children  as  often  as  they  were  told.   If  my  father  had  not 
been  so  deeply  religious  he  would  have  been  quite  a  gay 

Packard:    character.   He  disguised  his  speculation  on  the  stock 
market  as  investments,  rather  than  gambling. 

The  influence  of  my  grandfather's  religious  teaching 
is  evident  in  some  of  these  stories  because  he  made  attempts 
to  convert  both  of  these  buffalo  hunting  characters. 
During  his  time  in  the  West  his  father  was  writing  to 
him  about  becoming  a  minister  instead  of  going  into  the 
law.   My  father  considered  this  very  seriously  and  I  think 
all  during  the  rest  of  his  life  felt  rather  guilty  for 
not  having  taken  up  the  ministry  as  his  father  and  grand 
father  and  great-grandfather  had  done.   But  he  went  back 
to  Chicago  and  resumed  his  law  practice  there. 

In  a  letter  to  his  mother  three  years  later  he  said, 
"Fortune  seems  to  smile  on  us. (the  partnership)   Our 
business  is  wonderful  --  I  hope  to  have  at  least  $100,000 
salted  down--  so  that  I  can  move  to  a  better  climate  and 
there  devote  myself  to  carrying  on  some  great  or  noble 
reformation,  as  you  do."  In  the  same  letter,  he  said, 
"I  hope  to  get  married  to  a  young  lady  of  nineteen  that  I 
met  about  nine  months  ago.   She  is  a  good  Christian  girl, 
sensible,  true,  refined,  and  I  love  her  with  all  my  heart." 

The  following  account  of  the  wedding  appeared  in  the 
Chicago  Legal  News . 

"On  Tuesday,  the  23rd  instant  (1874)  at  Lombard,  111., 
Samuel  W.  Packard  Esq.  of  the  law  firm  of  Cooper, 
Garnett  and  Packard  of  this  city  was  married  to  Miss 
Clara  A.  Fish,  a  most  esteemed  and  popular  young 
lady  of  the  former  place.   The  ceremony  was  performed 
in  the  Congregational  Church  of  Lombard.   The  Rev. 

Packard:        Charles  Canano,  the  pastor,  assisted  by  the  Rev. 

Theophilus  Packard,  Jr.,  father  of  the  groom,  offi 
ciated  at  the  services  which  took  place  in  the  presence 
of  a  large  group  of  the  friends  of  the  bride  and  groom 
from  Lombard,  as  well  as  many  members  of  the  Chicago 
bar  and  their  ladies,  for  whose  accomodation  a  special 
train  was  provided." 

After  a  brief  honeymoon  on  a  lake  trip,  the  newly- 
weds  settled  in  a  large  two-story  house  on  Holly  Court, 
in  Oak  Park,  111.,  where  I  was  born.   In  a  letter  to  his 
mother,  my  father  describes  the  place  as  follows,  "The 
house  I  have  rented  is  a  very  fine,  large  square  house 
with  two  bay  windows,  two  sides,  and  is  heated  by  a 
futmace. " 

Although  my  mother  was  a  professed  Christian  and  a 
member  of  the  Congregational  Church,  she  never  accepted 
my  father's  fundamentalism.   The  conflict  of  beliefs  between 
my  grandfather  and  his  wife  was  reflected  in  a  somewhat 
similar  conflict  between  my  father  and  mother.   My  father 
served  as  deacon  in  the  Oak  Park  Congregational  Church 
for  many  years,  while  my  mother's  interest  was  centered 
in  social  service  work  of  various  kinds.   Among  other 
things,  she  organized  a  reading  room  for  use  by  servant 
girls  on  their  days  off.   The  going  rate  of  pay  for  a 
servant  girl  at  that  time  was  $3.00  per  week.  My  mother 
was  the  first  president  of  the  19th  Century  Club  in  Oak 
Park,  Illinois,  and  was  a  very  active  supporter  of  woman's 
suffrage  and  of  Jane  Addams '  work  at  Hull  House  in  Chicago. 
She  became  interested  in  the  labor  movement  and  served  on 


Packard:    a  State  Commission  to  investigate  the  causes  of  a  mine 
disaster  where  many  miners  were  killed. 

Baum:      What  was  her  maiden  name  again? 

Packard:    Her  name  was  Clara  Adelaide  Fish.   I  remember  her  mother 
well,  as  a  gentle,  white-haired  grandmother  who  lived 
with  us  for  a  while...   I  never  knew  my  maternal  grand 
father,  who  was  a  postal  employee,  and  whose  forebears 
went  back  to  pre-Revolutionary  days.   My  mother  was 
eligible  to  membership  in  the  Daughters  of  the  American 
Revolution,  but  never  chose  to  join  because  she  was  out 
of  sympathy  with  their  activities.   She  had  two  sisters, 
whom  we  knew  as  Aunt  Ida  and  Aunty  Ellen. 

Mrs.    :   One  reason,  I  imagine,  why  your  mother  worked  for  woman's 

suffrage  was  that  Aunty  Ellen  bucked  the  prejudice  against 

women  in  politics.   She  had  a  broken  marriage.   She 
married  a  much  older  man  who  was  a  doctor,  which  got  her 
interested  in  the  medical  field.   After  the  breakup  of 
the  marriage  she  decided  to  become  a  doctor  and  was  the 
first  woman  graduate  from  a  medical  school  in  Chicago. 
She  told  stories  about  the  early  days  when  young  doctors 
couldn't  afford  to  buy  all  of  the  things  they  were  supposed 
to  have,  so  they  made  sugar  pills  and  used  a  good  deal  of 
early  psychology. 
(  Laughter  ) 

Packard:    After  the  death  of  her  first  husband,  Mrs.  Pierce,  my 
maternal  grandmother,  moved  to  Lombard,  Illinois,  where 


Packard:    my  father  met  my  mother. 

Baum:      What  did  your  father  feel  about  the  conflict  between  his 
father  and  mother?   It  sounds  like  he  was  loyal  to  both. 

Packard:    Well,  he  was  greatly  disturbed  by  the  conflict.   He  admired 
his  mother's  work  for  women's  rights,  but  he  adopted  his 
father's  religion  and  became  a  complete  fundamentalist, 
which  was  strange  because  in  his  law  practice  he  was  a 
very  practical  man.   His  arguments  were  governed  by  logic 
but  in  his  religious  life,  he  was  completely  conditioned 
to  an  acceptance  of  the  Bible  as  the  Word  of  God.   He 
said  "blessings"  before  every  meal  and  the  family  knelt 
for  morning  prayers  after  breakfast  without  fail.   We 
children  would  take  turns  reading  extracts  from  the  Bible 
and  each  would  offer  a  prayer. 

Baum:      How  many  were  there  of  you? 

Packard:    I  had  three  sisters  and  a  brother.   I  was  in  the  middle. 
My  oldest  sister,  Stella,  bore  the  brunt  of  my  father's 
religious  training  with  its  emphasis  on  hell-fire  and  heaven. 
Although  she  was  a  very  attractive  young  lady,  she  never 
married.   She  had  my  mother's  interest  in  social  work. 
After  taking  some  courses  in  domestic  science  at  the  Armour 
Institute  in  Chicago,  she  went  to  Smith  College.   She 
worked  with  Jane  Addams  in  Hull  House  (Chicago)  for  some 
time.   After  graduation  she  went  into  social  work  in  New 
York  and  remained  in  that  field  until  she  died  of  cancer 
in  1945. 


Packard:        My  next  oldest  sister,  Laura,  was  a  completely  dedicated 
person,  possessing  some  of  the  intensity  of  her  grandmother. 
She  started  her  college  career  at  Oberlin,  but  graduated 
from  Vassar.   While  there,  she  became  a  socialist,  which 
interestingly  enough,  disturbed  my  mother  until  some  years 
later,  when  she  herself  became  a  strong  supporter  and  friend 
of  Upton  Sinclair.   Laura  married  Edward  Redman,  a  Phi 
Beta  Kappa  graduate  of  Dartmouth.   They  had 
three  girls,  Esther,  Elizabeth,  and  Barbara,  all  of  whom 
are  filling  important,  but  divergent  roles  in  life. 

My  youngest  sister  Esther  graduated  from  Smith  College 
and  became  a  very  successful  social  worker  in  New  York 
State,  appearing  before  the  state  legislature  in  Albany 
on  various  occasions  in  support  of  social  legislation. 
During  the  early  part  of  the  First  World  War,  she  married 
Philip  Chadbourn,  soon  after  he  had  returned  from  an 
assignment  with  Herbert  Hoover  in  Belgium.   He  brought 
presents  from  the  Belgium  children  to  President  Wilson 
and  presented  them  to  him  at  a  formal  ceremony.   Through 
Esther's  associations  in  New  York,  she  secured  an  appoint 
ment  for  Phil  as  a  special  representative  of  the  State 
Department  in  Russia.   His  assignment  was  to  represent 
German  and  Austrian  interests  in  Russia  until  we  got  into 
the  war,  when,  of  course,  they  had  to  return.   They  came 
back  through  Finland  and  went  to  California  to  live, 
temporarily,  in  the  family  home  in  Pasadena.   The  stories 


Packard:    they  had  to  tell  were  exciting  in  the  extreme.   More  about 
that  later  on.   They  have  three  children,  Philip  born  in 
Petrograd,  during  the  first  week  of  the  Russian  Revolution, 
Jane,  born  in  Pasadena,  and  Alfred,  born  in  Symrna,  at  the 
very  height  of  the  Greeks'  exodus  from  Turkey  during  the 
Greek-Turkish  war. 

John,  my  brother,  graduated  from  the  University  of 
Southern  California  and  followed  Father  into  the  practice 
of  law.   I  remember  two  episodes  when  he  was  a  youngster 
which  have  always  stayed  with  me.   He  would  sing  'When  I'm 
big  I'll  be  a  soldier,  that's  what  I  will  be.'  Mother 
would  pretend  to  cry  and  he  would  laugh.   At  another  time 
when  he  had  done  something  particularly  bad,  Mother  told 
him  to  go  out  in  the  yard  and  bring  her  a  switch.   He  came 
back  crying  and  dragging  a  baseball  bat  as  long  as  he  was 
tall.   Mother  just  burst  out  laughing  and  it  was  all  over. 
John  and  I  were  very  close,  as  brothers,  throughout  his  life. 
Although  he  followed  Father  into  the  law  he  became  a  socialist, 
in  part  because  of  me  and  in  part  because  of  Mother's 
interest.   He  married  Rose  Marie  Hutcheson,  whose  friendship 
with  the  Upton  Sinclairs  helped  John  politically  in  his 
work  both  as  a  member  of  the  National  Committee  of  the 
Socialist  Party  and  as  an  active  member  of  the  Democratic 
Party  during  the  New  Deal  days.   In  1936,  John  was  Roosevelt's 
campaign  manager  in  Southern  California.   John  helped 
organize  the  Civil  Liberties  Union  in  Southern  California 


Packard:    and  was  very  active  in  the  work  of  the  organization  throughout 
his  life.   On  two  occasions  when  he  had  gone  to  Imperial 
Valley  to  defend  arrested  agricultural  workers  who  had 
been  on  strike,  he  had  to  be  escorted  out  of  the  valley 
by  motorcycle  police  for  fear  of  attack  by  vigilante 
groups.   John  and  Rose  Marie  had  two  children,  John  Jr., 
and  Virginia,  each  of  whom  is  filling  an  important  role 
in  life. 

Packard:        This  brings  me  to  my  own  role  as  the  first  son. 

Although  I  recall  living  in  the  Holly  Court  house,  most 
of  my  memories  are  associated  with  our  home  on  Lake  Street, 
in  Oak  Park,  Illinois,  across  the  street  from  the  Congre 
gational  Church,  where  the  Oak  Park  Post  Office  now  stands. 
I  was  born  on  February  22nd,  1884.   Oak  Park  at  that  time 
was  a  rural  village  with  dirt  streets.   We  had  outside 
privies  and  kerosene  lamps  and  later  substituted  elec 
tricity  for  gas.   And  I  can  remember,  also,  very  clearly 
when  we  had  the  first  telephone  installed,  and  when  our 
furnace  was  replaced  by  a  community  heating  system  which 
piped  hot-water  into  our  radiators. 

As  I  remember  it,  I  enjoyed  school  as  a  youngster.   But 
I  was  inclined  to  break  the  rules.   My  first  memorable 
offense  occurred  when  I  was  in  the  second  grade.   John 
Tope,  my  closest  friend  as  a  boy,  had  a  seat  at  one  end 
of  the  front  row  in  school  while  I  sat  at  the  other  end. 


Packard:    One  time  when  the  teacher  announced  that  we  would  have 

five  minutes  recess  but  could  not  leave  our  seats  I  leaned 
forward  and  called  out,  "Hello  there,  jackass."   I  was 
sent  home  with  a  note  telling  Mother  what  I  had  done.   On 
another  occasion  I  took  a  mouse  to  school  with  a  string 
tied  to  its  tail.   When  the  teacher  was  not  looking  I  would 
let  the  mouse  run  on  the  floor  to  frighten  the  girls  in 
the  class.   Again  I  was  sent  home.   Kindly  Mr.  Hatch, 
the  principal  of  the  grammar  school,  whom  I  remember  with 
affection,  told  my  mother  that  I  had  given  him  more 
trouble  than  any  other  child,  a  fact  which  I  can  hardly 
understand  because  I  never  had  any  malicious  feeling 
and  never  did  anything  that  I  thought  was  really  harmful. 
Or,  on  reflection,  did  I?   I  recall  the  time  when  a  police 
man  appeared  at  our  door  charging  me  with  breaking  the 
windows  in  a  neighbor's  barn.   I  had  to  admit  that  I 
had  done  it  with  a  slingshot  which  I  had  learned  to  use 
quite  accurately.   My  only  memory  of  a  real  good  spanking 
though,  was  when  the  family  for  some  reason  was  sitting 
on  the  front  row  of  the  balcony  in  church.   I  insisted 
on  putting  my  feet  on  the  rail  in  front  with  complete 
disregard  of  my  father's  orders  to  put  them  down.   I 
figured,  I  suppose,  that  I  had  him  at  a  disadvantage. 
But  I  was  mistaken.   My  father  picked  me  up  and  carried 
me  all  the  way  home,  where  I  was  vigorously  convinced  that 
he  was  boss. 


Packard:        When  I  got  old  enough  I  was  given  responsibility 
for  taking  care  of  the  furnace  which  included  the  very 
dirty  job  of  taking  out  the  ashes.   I  also  learned  to  care 
for  my  father's  very  spirited  team  of  black  geldings. 
We  had  a  large  lawn  which  I  had  to  mow  and  water.   Both 
of  my  parents  were  very  understanding  people.   I  always 
had  a  dog  —  sometimes  three  or  four  at  a  time.   I  taught 
a  St.  Bernard  to  drive,  I  had  a  dog  cart  for  summer  and 
a  sled  with  wooden  shafts  for  winter;   and  also  a  four- 
wheeled  wagon  with  a  large  box  attached  which  I  built  for 
peddling  sweet  corn  which  I  raised  on  a  vacant  lot  belong 
ing  to  Father  on  the  edge  of  town. 

I  was  taught  how  to  handle  a  gun  and,  in  addition 
to  having  a  22 -rifle,  I  was  free  to  use  my  father's 
10-gauge  shotgun  when  I  wanted  to  hunt  ducks  on  the  North 
prairie  or  rabbits  and  squirrels  in  the  woods.   My  hunting 
trips  provided  little  food,  but  that  fact  never  lessened 
the  fun  of  tramping  over  the  prairies  and  through  the  woods, 
which  were  the  main  rewards.   The  prairie  swamps  provided 
good  skating  in  the  winter  and  yielded  pussy  willows  for 
my  mother  in  the  spring.   These  areas  are  now  covered  by 
high-rise  apartments.   I  learned  to  swim  in  the  skunk  hole 
in  the  Des  Plaines  River,  graduating  in  due  time  to  the 
dangerous  sand  pit  with  its  deep  water  and  steep  sides. 
One  time  when  the  spring  flood  had  topped  the  riverbanks, 
I  swam  across  and  back  on  a  dare  which  in  retrospect  was 


Packard:    very  foolhardy. 

On  two  succeeding  summers,  following  my  eighth  grade 
year,  I  organized  camping  trips  to  the  lake  country  in 
northern  Illinois  and  southern  Wisconsin.   Four  boys  made 
up  the  first  group  and  six  the  next.   Each  time  we  built 
a  two-wheeled  cart  using  bicycle  wheels  and  a  large  box 
in  which  we  packed  our  blankets,  tent,  cooking  utensils, 
and  food.   We  took  turns  pulling  the  cart  and  took  two 
days  to  make  the  final  camping  spot  on  a  lake  where  we 
fished,  swam,  hunted,  and  played  "fox  and  hounds". 

The  following  summer  I  bought  a  horse  for  $50.00,  out 
of  money  I  had  earned  peddling  papers  and  went  on  a 
600-mile  trip  through  northern  Illinois,  Wisconsin,  and 
into  the  pine  woods  of  northern  Michigan.   My  companion 
on  this  trip  was  Irving  Updike,  who  rode  a  beautiful  gaited 
Kentucky  riding  horse  given  to  him  by  his  father,  a  wealthy 
member  of  the  Chicago  Grain  Exchange.   We  camped  out 
every  night  and  cooked  most  of  our  meals. 

My  father's  association  with  us  children  was  enriched 
by  two  practices  which  remain  in  my  memory  as  valued 
experiences.   One  was  the  Sunday  afternoon  walks  into  the 
north  prairie  where  we  would  collect  pussy  willows,  pick 
wild  flowers,  or  just  sit  on  the  grass  while  my  father 
told  us  Bible  stories.   He  was  a  wonderful  story  teller, 
always  interpreting  Bible  stories  in  words  and  plots  which 
kept  us  keenly  interested.   The  second  practice  included 


Packard:    the  occasional  Saturday  drive  to  Salt  Creek,  Lombard,  or 

to  Lincoln  Park  to  see  the  animals.   Some  summers  we  would 
take  the  longer  two-day  drive  to  Manteno  to  visit  our 
Dole  cousins  who  lived  on  a  farm.   I  think  the  pleasant 
memories  of  those  visits  had  something  to  do  with  my  want 
ing  to  be  a  farmer. 

On  one  of  these  trips  we  stopped  overnight  in  Joliet, 
where  we  visited  the  state  prison  and  got  a  view  of  a 
man  who  had  robbed  our  house  one  winter  when  we  were  in 
California.   We  children  believed  that  the  man  would  want 
to  shoot  my  father  when  he  got  out.   At  any  rate  a  year 
or  two  later  a  strange  looking  man  appeared  at  the  door 
wanting  to  see  Father.   Laura  and  I  were  the  only  ones  at 
home.   We  said  that  Father  would  be  home  about  six  o'clock. 
Instead  of  leaving  he  wanted  to  stay.   So  we  invited  him 
into  the  parlor  where  he  proceeded  to  tell  us  that  he  was 
the  man  who  robbed  our  house.   He  had  just  been  released 
from  prison  and  wanted  to  make  a  courtesy  call. 

I  went  to  my  room,  put  shells  in  a  22-pistol,  put 
it  in  my  pocket  and  went  to  the  station  to  meet  Father. 
I  told  him  what  had  happened  but  said  nothing  about  the 
pistol^ which  I  held  in  my  pocket  all  cocked  and  ready  for 
action.   Our  guest  explained  that  he  had  become  a  Christian 
in  prison  and  wanted  to  make  restitution  for  his  sins  as 
best  he  could.   This,  of  course,  pleased  my  father,  who 
invited  him  to  stay  for  supper,  where  he  entertained  us 


Packard:   with  stories  of  his  life  in  prison.  And  then  for  three 
years  after  that  every  time  it  snowed  he'd  come  around 
to  the  barn  and  get  a  snow  shovel  and  shovel  off  all  our 
walks,  put  the  shovel  back  in  the  barn,  and  walk  off  and 
never  say  anything.   In  the  summertime  he'd  sweep  the  side 
walks  occasionally,  and  then  he  disappeared  and  we  never 
knew  what  happened  to  him.   But  during  that  time  he  was 
back  at  his  old  job  of  washing  windows  and  he  would  give 
Mother  as  a  reference. 

When  I  was  a  child  we  spent  two  winters  in  California 
staying  with  Uncle  Ira  in  San  Diego  part  of  the  time  and 
with  the  Wares  (my  father's  cousin)  who  lived  on  Orange 
Grove  Avenue  in  Pasadena.   I  was  only  a  year  old  on  the 
first  trip  but  have  very  vivid  memories  of  the  second  trip, 
when  I  was  nine.   I  loved  to  accompany  my  Uncle  Ira  over 
the  dry,  brush  covered  hills  of  San  Diego  County,  where  I 
would  look  for  trapdoor  spider  nests,  while  he  hunted 
quail.   We  drove  by  horse  and  buggy  to  La  Jolla,  Point 
Loma ,  and  Old  Town,  always  carrying  a  lunch  along  to  be 
eaten  at  some  secluded  spot  on  some  beach.   The  Ware  lot 
in  Pasadena  ran  down  to  the  Arroyo  Seco  where  my  sister 
Laura  and  I,  with  two  Ware  dogs,  built  sand  dams  and  waded 
in  the  water.   I  once  drove  from  Pasadena  to  Santa  Ana 
in  a  one  horse  buckboard  with  my  father  and  his  brother 
Theophilus.   It  took  us  two  days  each  way.   We  camped 
out  along  a  river  at  night  where  we  heard  coyotes  barking. 


Packard:    The  whole  stretch  of  country  was  completely  undeveloped.   My 
father's  cousin,  Edward  Ware  in  Garden  Grove,  was  a  pioneer 
walnut  grower  in  Orange  County. 

Another  winter  we  spent  in  Biloxi,  Mississippi.   There 
I  had  an  experience  that  affected  me  for  years.   The  family 
was  living  in  a  hotel  and  I  was. down  at  the  beach  one  day, 
I  came  back  to  the  hotel  and  nobody  was  there  —  the  family 
was  gone.   They  had  gone  out  on  an  afternoon  ride  in  a 
buggy.   And  I  suddenly  felt  that  I  was  left  alone,  they'd 
left  me,  abandoned  me.   And  I  just  made  a  terrific  scene. 
The  guests  at  the  hotel  tried  to  comfort  me  and  say  my 
parents  were  coming  back,  but  I  didn't  believe  them.   I 
just  thought  I  was  abandoned.   And  when  they  came  back  it 
didn't  made  a  parcel  of  difference.   It  still  had  a  terrific 
influence  on  me.   And  it  lasted,  oh,  for  a  long  time.   I 
remember  after  we  got  back  to  Oak  Park  one  day,  Father 
said  he  was  going  to  drive  Mother  out  to  Lombard,  and  so 
I  skipped  school,  came  back  and  hid  in  the  barn.   When 
he  started  out  I  ran  out  and  caught  hold  of  the  back  axle 
of  the  buggy.   I  was  going  to  hang  on  there  all  the  way 
to  Lombard  because  I  thought  they  were  going  to  run  away 
from  me  again. 

Baum:      How  old  were  you? 

Packard:    Well,  I  was  in  the  first  grade  in  school.   I  must  have 
been  six. 

Baum:      Did  your  father  usually  go  somewhere  in  the  winter? 


Packard:    Well,  yes... he  always  tried  to,  yes. 

Baum:      To  get  away  from  the  cold,  is  that  the  idea? 

Packard:    Yes,  yes.   But  —  these  three  big  trips  are  the  only  ones  I 

remember.   In  the  summertime  we'd  always  go  on  vacations,  in 
Wisconsin  or  Michigan  at  some  lake  resort. 

Baum:      Does  this  indicate  you  were  fairly  well-to-do? 

Packard:    Yes,  we  were  fairly  well-to-do.   My  father  was  a  successful 
lawyer.   He  had  the  second  largest  private  law  library  in 
Chicago.   He  was  considered  to  be  an  exceptionally  good  trial 
lawyer.   He  never  took  divorce  or  criminal  cases,  only  civil 
suits.   But  we  were  never  rich.   Our  yard  in  Oak  Park  must 
have  covered  an  acre  and  a  half  or  two  acres.   We  had  fruit 
trees  of  all  kinds  and  a  large  garden.   It  was  a  wonderful 
place  for  us  children.   The  memory  of  sitting  in  the  branches 
of  an  apple  tree  in  full  bloom  and  of  following  the  plow  to 
pick  up  angle  worms  when  the  hired  man  was  preparing  the  garden 
for  spring  planting  is  still  vivid.   Father  had  some  carpenters 
build  a  toboggan  slide  in  the  side  yard  at  the  beginning  of 

winter a  thing  we  enjoyed  until  we  were  old  enough  to  go 


I  was  ten  years  old  when  the  Chicago  World's  Fair  was 
staged.   I  was  taken  to  the  fair  several  times.   Seeing  Sitting 
Bull  in  person  was  one  of  the  thrills  I  remember.   But  my 
sharpest  recollection  concerns  the  loss  of  the  half  dollar  I 
had  been  given  to  spend  during  the  day.   I  watched  a  man  in 
a  diving  suit  walk  around  the  bottom  of  a  tank  of  water.   He 


Packard:    would  pick  things  up  from  the  tank  to  demonstrate  his  skill. 

So  I  threw  in  my  half  dollar,  fully  expecting  him  to  return  it. 
But  he  didn't.   And  my  day  was  spoiled. 

Although  my  parents  were  very  free  and  understanding  with 
anything  relating  to  my  love  for  the  out  of  doors,  we  children 
were  not  allowed  to  dance,  play  cards,  or  go  to  the  theater  and 
the  Sabbath  Day  was  observed  with  strict  obedience  to  the  mores 
of  the  time.   There  was  one  exception  to  these  restrictions. 
Whenever  Buffalo  Bill's  show  came  to  Chicago,  Father  took  us 
all  and  would  regale  us  again  with  stories  of  his  buffalo 
hunting  days.   Restrictions  were  sometimes  tempered  by  reason. 
The  prohibition  on  smoking,  for  example,  was  restricted.   So 
long  as  I  promised  not  to  smoke  tobacco  I  could  smoke  cornsilk, 
rattan,  or  what  have  you.   My  first  lesson  in  plant  breeding 
resulted,  unexpectedly,  from  my  first  summer's  experience  in 
smoking  cornsilk  cigarettes.   That  summer  I  harvested  all  of 
the  cornsilk  from  my  father's  prize  plot  of  sweet  corn  just  as 
soon  as  it  appeared.   I  had  it  all  laid  out  on  newspapers 
on  the  barn  floor  to  dry  when  my  father  came  home  from  the 
office.   What  I  learned  in  the  barn  that  night  I  have  never 
(  Laughter  ) 

Baum:      You  ruined  the  year's  crop? 
Packard:    I  sure  did. 

As  a  boy  I  was  never  much  of  a  reader.   J.  Fenimore 
Cooper's  Indian  stories,  the  Henty  novels,  Tom  Sawyer  and 


Packard:    Huck  Finn,  Peck's  Bad  Boy,  the  Life  of  Buffalo  Bill,  comprised 
my  range  of  books.   But  not  entirely.   John  Tope  and  I  read 
dime  novels,  frowned  upon  by  our  parents.   We  read  them  by  the 
light  of  a  candle,  in  a  room  we  had  dug  out  under  the  barn  which 
we  reached  through  a  tunnel.   It  might  be  well  to  add  that  the 
barn  never  caught  on  fire. 

Three  incidents  relating  to  gun  powder  might  be  worth 
recording.   The  first  resulted  from  my  desire  to  have  small 
shot  to  throw  in  the  schoolroom.   I  had  unloaded  a  shotgun 
shell  and  didn't  know  what  to  do  with  the  powder.   So  I  loaded 
a  toy  cannon,  took  it  to  a  sand  lot,  and  set  it  off.   We  never 
found  the  cannon,  but  my  eyelashes  were  burned  shut  and  my  face 
was  burned  and  covered  with  black  powder  marks.   The  other 
two  experiences  were  associated  with  the  Fourth  of  July,  which 
was  always  the  big  day  of  the  year.   One  year  I  poured  some 
powder  into  a  large  bottle  into  which  I  had  inserted  a  string 
to  serve  as  a  fuse.   The  bottle  blew  up  before  I  could  get 
away  and  a  piece  of  glass  was  shot  into  the  calf  of  my  leg. 
When  I  got  home  I  pushed  a  needle  into  the  hole  to  see  if  I 
could  locate  the  glass.   I  kept  mum  about  this  and  nothing 
happened.   The  third  episode  occurred  early  on  Fourth  of  July 
morning.   In  order  to  waken  John  Tope,  I  loaded  a  cannon  I 
had  made  out  of  a  piece  of  pipe  nailed  to  a  six  by  six  wooden 
block.   I  put  the  cannon  halfway  between  the  Tope's  barn  and 
house  and  after  lighting  the  fuse  I  ran  to  the  barn.   The 
following  day  we  found  part  of  the  cannon  on  the  other  side  of 
the  Presbyterian  church  which  was  located  on  the  adjoining  lot. 


Packard:        In  view  of  the  present  concern  over  juvenile  delinquency 
and  the  ideological  conflict  of  the  Cold  War,  the  contrasting 
character  of  some  of  my  high  school  companions  is  perhaps  worth 
recording.   Irvine  Updike--my  companion  on  the  horseback  trip, 
ended  up  in  the  penitentiary  for  having  conspired  with  his 
younger  brother  to  murder  their  parents  in  order  to  get  their 
anticipated  inheritance  sooner.   Henry  Arnold,  my  closest  high 
school  friend,  became  a  very  successful  Congregational  minister. 
After  graduating  from  the  Yale  Divinity  School  he  became  pastor 
of  an  important  New  England  church. 

Another  contrast  was  presented  by  Bruce  Barton  and  Anna 
Louise  Strong.   Bruce  was  the  son  of  the  pastor  of  the  First 
Congregational  Church  where  my  father  was  deacon.   Anna  Louise 
Strong  was  the  daughter  of  the  pastor  of  the  Second  Congreg 
ational  Church,  which  my  father  helped  establish.   Years  later, 
Bruce 's  advertising  agency,  with  forty  acres  of  floor  space 
on  Madison  Avenue,  epitomizes  the  Far  Right.   While  Anna  Louise, 
as  a  devoted  supporter  of  both  Russia  and  China,  now  living  in 
Peking,  epitomizes  the  Far  Left.   My  first  memory  of  Bruce 
Barton  goes  back  to  the  time  when  three  of  us,  John  Tope, 
Henry  Arnold  and  I ,  as  I  remember  it,  planned  to  initiate  Bruce 
into  the  community  shortly  after  he  first  arrived  as  a  young 
boy.   My  two  companions  hid  behind  the  front  fence  while  I 
rang  the  front  doorbell  to  invite  Bruce  out.  His  mother  answered 
the  door  and  said  that  Bruce  was  not  in.   This  indeed  was  a 
Tom  Sawyer  inspired  incident.   Later  on,  when  in  high  school, 


Packard:    Bruce  and  I  belonged  to  the  Bachelors  club,  which  he  organized. 
Our  pledge,  as  I  remember  it,  was  never  to  have  anything 
to  do  with  women.   The  club  members  rented  box  seats  at  a 
high  school  graduation  exercises  and  appeared  in  top  silk  hats 
borrowed  from  my  father--a  fact  which  made  it  necessary  for 
us  to  sneak  out  early  to  save  the  hats.   Anna  Louise  was  a  close 
friend  of  my  sister  Laura.   She  was  a  thorn  in  my  flesh  because 
she  was  usually  head  of  her  class  while  I  was  near  the  foot. 
I,  as  the  deacon's  son,  occupy  a  position  somewhat  left  of  center 
which  I  define  as  total  democracy—a  position  which  will  be 
explained  in  some  detail  later  on. 

Baum:      There  was  a  lot  of  intellectual  ferment  in  that  little  city. 

Packard:    Yes,  there  was.   But  Oak  Park  has  gone  completely  conservative, 
as  evidenced  by  its  overwhelming  support  of  Goldwater  in  the 
1964  election. 

My  love  of  the  country  coupled  with  my  disinterest  in  any 
profession  or  urban  business  led  me  to  take  a  job  as  a  farm 

hand  during  the  summer  vacation  following  my  junior  year  in 
high  school.   I  rode  my  bicycle  the  120  miles  to  Tonica, 

Illinois,  where  I  slopped  hogs,  milked  cows,  plowed  corn,  made 
hay,  shocked  oats  and  helped  in  the  threshing  on  a  100-acre 
farm  belonging  to  the  Thompsons.   It  took  me  a  day  and  a  half 
to  make  the  trip  and  I  was  completely  exhausted.   My  best  per 
formance  on  the  farm  was  at  the  threshing  dinners  where  each 
farmer's  wife  tried  to  outdo  the  other.   After  one  of  these 
dinners  I  had  to  take  time  off  and  lie  in  the  shade  of  a  tree 


Packard:    before  I  could  go  back  to  work.   I  enjoyed  everything  I  did 

except  helping  Mrs.  Thompson  do  the  washing  on  Monday  mornings 
and  occasionally  churning  the  butter. 

Fourth  of  July  was  a  great  day  in  Tonica,  as  it  was  every 
where  when  I  was  a  boy.   I  had  a  thirty-eight  caliber  pistol 
and  two  boxes  of  blank  shells,  which  made  me  the  noisiest 
thing  in  town,  much  to  the  disgust  of  many.   I  contended  in 
the  greased  pole  climb,  the  obstacle  race,  and  the  greased 
pig  contest.   But  the  big  event  was  the  100-yard  dash  on  the 
main  street  of  town  in  the  evening.   The  main  street  had  been 
harrowed  to  fill  up  the  ruts  and  about  twenty  runners,  including 
two  baseball  players,  lined  up  for  the  race.   Since  I  was  a 
star  runner  in  the  Oak  Park  High  School,  I  was  able  to  win  the 
race  and  the  $10.00  prize—an  incident  which  was  used  to 
disqualify  me  temporarily  for  competition  in  the  Big  Ten  Meet 
at  Chicago  University  when  I  was  a  freshman  at  college. 

The  farm  work  apparently  did  me  some  good  because  I  rode 
my  bicycle  back  in  one  day  without  too  much  effort.   When  I 
got  home  my  sister  Stella  was  home  from  Smith  College,  and  said 
that  there  was  an  agricultural  college  at  Amherst  where  I 
could  learn  to  be  a  scientific  farmer.   What  that  meant  none 
of  us  knew  exactly,  but  the  idea  took  hold  and  I  decided  to 
become  a  farmer  with  the  understanding  with  my  father  that  he 
would  buy  me  a  farm  when  I  got  ready.   I  wrote  to  the  agric 
ultural  colleges  in  various  states  and  decided  that  the  Iowa 
State  College  at  Ames  suited  me  best.   The  following  summer  I 

Walter  Packard,  Graduation  -  Ames  College 


Packard:    spent  another  vacation  on  an  Illinois  farm  owned  by  a  Swedish 
couple  who  believed  in  making  the  hired  hand  earn  his  way. 
One  thing  that  used  to  gripe  me  was  that  I  had  to  use  the 
walking  plow  even  when  the  riding  cultivator  was  not  in  use. 
After  pitching  manure  on  and  off  a  wagon,  making  hay,  and 
cutting  weeds  with  a  scythe  in  the  pig  pen  and  along  the 
fences,  I  started  pitching  bundles  at  threshing  time.   Each  of 
these  operations  used  my  back  muscles  and  one  morning  my  back 
began  to  pain  me  so  much  that  I  had  to  stop  work  and  go  to  bed. 
It  was  some  days  before  I  could  get  up  to  take  the  train 
home.   My  back  bothered  me  for  months  but  not  until  many  years 
later  did  an  osteopath  find  that  a  vertebrate  was  out  of  place, 
not  because  of  the  farm  work,  but  because  of  a  practice  we  had  in 
high  school  of  coming  up  behind  some  one  and  pounding  him 
as  hard  as  possible  between  the  shoulders  as  an  expression 
of  comradeship. 


Iowa  State  College,  Ames  -  1903-1907 

On  graduating  from  high  school  in  1903,  I  went  to  Ames. 
I  had  the  idea  that  it  would  be  a  good  thing  to  work  my  way 
through  college,  so  I  got  a  job  tending  furnace  for  my  room 
in  Music  Hall  and  started  to  accumulate  cash  by  working  in 
the  experimental  seed  beds  on  the  college  farm.   The  pay  of 
ten  cents  an  hour  soon  discouraged  me.   I  then  concentrated 


Packard:    on  military  drill.   Because  I  had  been  a  cadet  in  high  school, 
I  entered  the  Ames  training  as  a  sergeant,  although  I  did  not 
know  just  what  a  sergeant  was  supposed  to  do  or  where  he  should 
stand  in  the  line.   On  special  days,  when  we  had  sham  battles, 
I  found  that  I  could  get  wounded  behind  some  tree  and  sneak 
home  until  General  Lincoln  had  roll  called  at  the  beginning 
and  end  of  all  drills.   In  spite  of  my  rather  bad  behavior, 
I  became  a  second  lieutenant  at  the  end  of  my  first  semester. 
But  the  track  season  started  in  the  spring  and  much  to  the 
disgust  of  the  brusque  but  kindly  General  Lincoln  I  made  the 
track  team  and  was  excused  from  anymore  drill  for  the  rest 
of  my  stay  in  college. 

For  some  reason  or  other  I  was  selected  as  one  of  several 
students  to  remain  at  college  during  the  Christmas  vacation 
to  teach  corn  judging  to  Iowa  farmers  attending  the  winter 
short  course.   I  am  now  quite  ashamed  of  one  thing  I  did 
that  winter  but  I  think  I  should  confess.   There  was  one 
young  farmer  who  did  a  great  deal  of  bragging  about  how 
tough  he  was.   He  boasted  of  having  ten  scars  on  his  body. 
So  one  evening,  when  he  was  on  his  way  to  a  meeting,  a  group 
of  six  regular  students  kidnapped  him.   We  took  him  to  the 
old  "pest  house"  off  the  campus,  built  a  fire  in  the  stove, 
pretended  to  be  heating  a  branding  iron,  and  later  had  him 
undress  to  show  his  scars.   In  due  time,  he  was  laid  forcibly 
on  his  back  on  the  bed  by  three  members  of  the  Ames  football 
squad  and  a  large  A  was  harmlessly  tattooed  on  his  stomach 


Packard:    with  an  icicle.   He  screamed  with  pain  but  when  it  was  all  over, 
he  wanted  to  join  in  other  similar  escapades  which  were  not 
carried  out. 

^hen  the  short  course  was  over  and  the  prize  of  $1,000 
was  presented  to  Asa  Turner  as  the  man  who  had  raised  the  best 
ten  ears  of  corn  in  Iowa,  I  was  up  on  the  platform  asking 
him  for  a  job  as  a  hired  hand.   I  was  taken  on,  so  spent  my 
first  summer  vacation  from  college,  feeding  pigs,  milking 
cows,  plowing  corn,  and  doing  odd  chores  about  the  place. 
He  specialized  in  Reed's  yellow  dent  corn,  Duroc  Jersey  hogs 
and  short  horn  cattle.   My  salary  was  $25.00  per  month  plus 
board  and  room.   \sa  Turner  was  a  grand  old  man,  a  Civil  War 
veteran  who  had  become  "sanctified"  and  therefore  could  not 
sin.   We  drove  to  town  (Maxwell)  in  a  buggy  on  Sundays  to 
attend  Sunday  school  and  church  and  to  meet  the  neighbors. 

Before  returning  to  college  I  attended  the  St.  Louis 
Fair  where  I  spent  so  much  that  I  had  to  walk  the  last  twelve 
miles.   I  considered  the  conductor  to  be  unnecessarily  harsh 
in  putting  me  off,  but  I  enjoyed  the  walk. 

At  the  beginning  of  my  sophomore  year  I  joined  a  small 
group  of  my  '07  classmates  intent  on  preventing  the  freshman 
from  painting  '08 "s  on  various  likely  places.   One  night, 
finding  a  large  '08  on  the  Northwestern  Railway  bridge  going 
into  Ames,  we  quietly  entered  the  rooming  house  of  the  president 
of  the  freshman  class,  got  him  out  of  bed  and  into  some 
clothes  and  then  made  him  walk  to  the  bridge  with  a  brush  and  a 
bucket  of  paint  to  daub  out  the  "08. 


England  -  1905 

Baum:      I've  got  a  note  here,  a  little  note  from  Who's  vtfho,  "Special 
Agent,  Packard  and  Neice,  attorneys,  London  1905." 

Packard:    Yes,  yes.   That  was  when  I  was  a  sophomore  at  college.   I  had 
heard  of  some  students  who  had  worked  their  way  to  Europe  for 
a  summer  vacation  by  tending  cattle  on  a  cattle  boat.   So  I 
pursued  the  matter  and  had  a  tentative  arrangement  to  go  over 
to  England  with  cattle  and  to  return  from  Normandy  with  horses, 
when  I  got  a  letter  from  my  father  saying  that  I  could  go  to 
London  for  a  Catholic  priest  on  a  rather  strange  mission. 
I  was  to  carry  the  manuscript  of  a  book  which  was  an  expose" 
of  the  parochial  school  system  in  Chicago,  written  by  Father 
Crowley,  to  London  to  have  it  copyrighted  in  England,  Scotland, 
Ireland,  and  Wales.   Father  Crowley  wanted  a  non-Catholic 
messenger  that  he  could  trust.   So,  instead  of  doing  what  I 
had  planned  to  do,  I  served  as  my  father's  legal  agent  in  carry 
ing  out  the  assignment. 

Baum:      This  was  an  anti-Catholic  document? 

Packard:    Yes,  it  certainly  was.   Father  Crowley,  incidentally,  was 

excommunicated  for  his  sincere  effort  to  stamp  out  evils  which 
he  saw  in  the  Chicago  set-up.  After  getting  the  manuscript 
properly  registered  at  the  British  Museum,  I  tried  to  find  a 
publisher.  None  of  the  prominent  publishers  would  take  the  book. 
One  of  them  told  me  that  his  employees  would  strike  if  he  took 
the  contract.   I  finally  got  a  small  operator  who  set  his  own 


Packard:    type  to  agree  to  publish  it.   But  the  contract  was  never  signed 
because  Father  Crowley  was  able  to  get  the  book  published  in 
the  United  States.   It  was  widely  advertised  but  never  made 
much  of  an  impression.   Father  Crowley,  however,  suffered 
severely.   After  his  excommunication  he  married  and  tried  to 
lead  a  normal  life.   But  whenever  he  got  a  job,  he  would  be 
followed  by  the  Church.   He  finally  went  to  California  where 
my  close  friend  Richard  Perkin?,then  secretary  of  the  Y.M.C.A. 
in  San  Francisco,  helped  him  get  started. 

Baum:      So  you  did  have  a  little  experience  in  Europe? 

Packard:   Yes,  indeed.   I  had  a  very  interesting  time.   On  the  way  over, 
on  the  White  Star  liner  Olympic,  the  ship  went  through  a 
"hurricane  with  mountainous  seas",  as  recorded  by  the  log. 
It  was  impossible  to  go  anywhere  on  shipboard  without  hanging 
onto  a  rope.   Three  people  were  killed  in  accidents  during 
the  storm.   Their  bodies  were  buried  at  sea  early  one  morning 
as  we  sailed  along  the  coast  of  Ireland.   One  notable  event 
was  the  fact  that  the  ship  carried  one  of  the  first  radios  which 
permitted  the  purser  to  publish  a  newspaper  each  morning, 
carrying  news  from  the  Russian -Japanese  War.   The  ship  lay 
at  anchor  for  two  days  in  the  Liverpool  harbor  swinging  back 
and  forth  with  the  tide  in  a  fog  that  was  so  dense  you  could 
hardly  see  across  the  deck.   I  had  read  some  of  Dickens  on 
the  way  over  and  was  well  prepared  for  the  fog  that  engulfed 
London  all  the  time  I  was  there.   I  visited  a  farmers'  market 
in  London  where  stall-holders,  with  horse  or  donkey  drawn 


Packard:    carts  brought  their  produce  for  sale.   I  spent  considerable  time 
in  visiting  the  Tate   Gallery  and  the  National  Art  Gallery 
and,  of  course,  visited  the  British  Museum.   I  saw  London,  through 
the  fog,  from  the  top  of  double-decker,  horse-drawn  busses 
which  I  would  take  to  the  end  of  the  line  and  back  again. 

Extra-Curricular  Activities  at  Ames 

Packard:        Now  to  get  back  to  my  college  days.   Although  I  had  devel 
oped  a  dislike  for  fraternities,  due  to  the  fact  that  a  frat 
ernity  in  high  school  was  made  up  of  students  that  I  did  not 
like- -they  were  just  not  my  kind--I  joined  the  Beta  Theta  Pi 
fraternity  during  my  sophomore  year  because  Emma  Leonard,  a 
classmate  who  later  became  my  wife  had  joined  the  Pi  Phis,  and 
I  felt  that  I  had  to  succumb  to  maintain  my  competitive  position. 
From  then  on  "she  wore  my  Beta  pin".   I  later  became  a  member 
of  Alpha  Xeta,  an  honorary  Agricultural  fraternity. 

I  was  not  what  you  would  call  an  athlete  but  I  did  pretty 
well  as  a  runner.   I  won  my  letter  as  a  freshman  and  was  the 
fastest  quartermiler  on  the  relay  team  that  broke  the  state 
record  and  competed  in  the  Big  Ten  meet  in  Chicago.   During 
my  junior  and  senior  years  I  ran  the  mile  and  the  two  mile, 
again  winning  my  college  letter.   I  served  as  the  manager  of 
the  football  team  during  my  junior  and  senior  year.   I  was 
also  on  the  college  debating  team  and  won  my  gold  A  watch  fob 
in  a  debate  with  Grinnell  in  which  Grinnell  won  by  a  unanimous 


Packard:    decision!   During  my  senior  year  I  was  chosen  to  be  a  member 
of  what  was  called  the  "Cardinal  Guild"  which  got  its  name 
from  the  fact  that  the  college  colors  were  cardinal  and  gold. 
It  was  an  honorary  group  whose  rather  moral  duty  was  to  promote 
adult  behavior.   It  had  an  aura  of  righteousness  about  it,  that 
somehow  did  not  appeal  to  me,  but  I  felt  highly  honored  in 
being  selected. 

I  became  interested  in  the  Y.M.C.A.  when  I  was  a  freshman. 
I  can  still  remember  how  important  I  felt  when  I  got  a  letter 
from  Jack  Prall,  the  employed  secretary  of  the  college  Y.M.C.A., 
asking  me  to  teach  a  Bible  study  class  the  following  year.   I 
accepted  and,  by  the  end  of  my  sohpomore  year  I  was  elected 
President  of  the  college  Y  which  was  credited,  rightly  or 
wrongly,  with  having  more  Bible  study  classes  than  any  other 
college.   It  was  quite  logical,  therefore,  for  me  to  attend  the 

Y.M.C.A.  summer  school  at  Lake  Geneva,  Wisconsin. 


Baum:      This  was  the  summer  after  the  one  you  spent  on  Turner's  ranch? 

Packard:    Yes.   This  was  after  my  sophomore  year.   I  came  under  the  in 
fluence  of  men  like  John  R.  Mott,  Robert  Spear,  and  other 
inspirational  leaders  who  were  promoting  what  was  called  the 
"Student  Volunteer  Movement."  Today  it  might  be  called  the 
Peace  Corps.   "Why,"  they  said  to  me,  "can't  you  become  an 
agricultural  missionary?   You  are  a  Christian  and  as  such  you 
must  believe  that  spreading  the  Gospel  is  the  greatest  of 
callings."  I  could  not  counter  this  logic  so  I  became  a 
"student  volunteer"  at  the  end  of  my  sophomore  year. 


On  a  Surveying  Crew  in  Idaho  -  Summer,  1906 

Packard:        I  spent  the  summer  following  my  junior  year  as  rod  man 

on  a  survey  crew  in  Idaho.   A  good  deal  of  excitement  had  been 
developed  over  the  opportunities  for  apple  production  on  newly 
established  irrigation  projects  in  the  Northwest.   My  father 
was  attorney  for  a  Chicago  bonding  firm  that  was  financing 
the  Canyon  Canal  Project  on  the  Payette  River,  which  explains 
my  job.   I  first  weftt  to  the  big  exposition  in  Portland,  Oregon, 
where  all  the  wonders  of  the  Pacific  Northwest  were  displayed. 
I  returned  to  Boise  where  I  met  my  father  who  was  staying  at 
a  swank  hotel.   For  some  reason,  he  must  have  felt  that  staying 
at  a  cheap  hotel  would  improve  my  character.   At  any  rate,  we 
secured  a  room  in  a  little  hotel  in  the  lower  part  of  town. 
Two  things  happened  that  had  nothing  to  do  with  character 
building.   I  had  to  change  rooms  three  times  the  first  night 
because  of  bed  bugs,  which  were  new  to  me.   And  chamber  maids 
were  so  solicitous  that  I  had  a  hard  time  keeping  them  out  of 
my  room.   Some  weeks  later  I  picked  up  a  Boise  paper  and  saw 
a  headline  "Millions  of  Lives  Lost".   It  was  an  account  of  the 
burning  of  my  hotel. 

I  spent  the  rest  of  the  summer  in  survey  camps  along  the 
Payette  River--an  experience  which  ended  with  a  case  of  dysentery 
from  drinking  unboiled  water.   A  construction  crew  with  mules 
and  servers  occupied  the  same  camp.   A  mule  skinner  offered  me 
$5.00  if  I  would  lean  over  at  a  distance  of  about  ten  feet 


Packard:    and  let  him  take  one  crack  at  my  behind  with  his  black  snake 
(  a  whip  for  mules  ).   I  wasn't  that  badly  in  need  of  money. 
The  project  involved  the  construction  of  a  dam  and  miles  of 
wooden  flume,  in  addition  to  open  ditch  work,  so  I  got  a  good 
start  in  the  field  of  irrigation  engineering.   I  took  an 
interest  in  the  land  too.   I  filed  on  a  -,40-acre  piece  of 
rather  rough  land  near  the  lower  end  of  the  project  with  the 
idea  that  I  might  at  some  time  plant  an  apple  orchard.   How 
this  fitted  into  my  plans  for  becoming  an  agricultural  missionary 
is  a  mystery.   Perhaps  it  was  because  I  was  completely  fascinated 
with  the  sagebrush  country. 

Y.  M.  C.  A.  Secretary  at  Stanford  University  -  1907-1908 

Packard:        Back  in  college  in  the  Fall,  I  made  a  very  wise  decision 
which  had  much  to  do  with  my  future  career.   I  accepted  a 
job  as  the  part-time  secretary  of  the  college  Y.M.C.A.  at 
Stanford  University.   It  would  give  me  a  chance  to  get  more 
work  in  the  social  sciences  than  I  had  been  able  to  get  at 
Ames.   But  before  going  to  Stanford  I  attended  a  Y.M.C.A. 
summer  school  at  Lake  Geneva,  where  I  had  a  first  course  in 
psychology.   What  I  learned  threw  me  for  a  loop.   It  explained 
what  I  had  thought  of  as  conversion  in  terms  of  psychology 
rather  than  a  deep  religious  experience. 

So  when  I  began  my  work  at  Stanford  I  was  thoroughly 
confused.   My  confusion,  moreover,  was  compounded  by  the  fact 
that  I,  as  the  paid  secretary,  had  to  conduct  a  Bible  study 


Packard:    class  in  a  club  house  in  Mayfield  because  the  group  was  consid 
ered  to  be  too  tough  for  any  of  the  students...  I  found  them 
all  to  be  socialists.   Why  they  had  asked  for  a  Bible  study 
class  is  a  question  I  can't  answer.   At  any  rate,  we  had 
Bible  study  for  about  fifteen  minutes  and  then  discussed 
socialism  'til  midnight.   By  Christmas  I  was  a  socialist  and 
none  of  them  was  a  Christian.   (  Laughter  )   So  I  sent  in  my 
resignation  to  take  effect  at  the  close  of  the  year. 

It  was  necessary  for  me  to  attend  the  winter  Y.M.C.A. 
meeting  at  Pacific  Grove.   My  back-sliding  had  become  a  general 
concern.   One  kindly  ond  gentle  old  Methodist  minister  asked 
me  to  go  to  his  room  for  a  personal  conference,  which  I  did. 
But  what  a  session!   The  dear  fellow  prayed  for  my  lost  soul 
and  explained  in  the  prayer  how  his  message  was  being  carried 
by  the  Holy  Ghost,  through  Christ  to  God.   By  that  time,  however, 
I  was  quite  immune.   I  got  through  the  year  without  collecting 
all  of  my  salary  of  $800.00. 

Back  to  Idaho  to  Prove  a  Land  Claim  -  Summer  1908 

Packard:        When  school  was  out  I  went  to  Idaho  to  prove  up  on  the  40 
acre  Carey  claim  I  had  filed  on  when  I  spent  the  summer  of 
my  junior  year  at  Ames  in  surveying  on  an  irrigation  project. 

Baum:      I  believe  your  father  had  some  experience  in  irrigation  districts? 

Packard:    Yes,  my  father  was  the  attorney  for  one  of  the  bonding  companies 
in  Chicago  that  handled  irrigation  bonds  during  the  early  period 


Packard:    of  irrigation  development  at  the  beginning  of  the  twentieth 

Baum:      Do  you  remember  the  name  of  the  company? 

Packard:   Trowbridge  and  Niver.   They  financed  irrigation  development  in 
Idaho  and  Colorado.   Little  was  known  then  about  the  problems 
of  irrigation,  particularly  about  the  problem  of  financing. 
As  a  result,  before  many  years,  every  major  bonding  house  in 
the  United  States  that  handled  irrigation  bonds  went  into 
bankruptcy  because  the  settlers  were  not  able  to  meet  the 
payments  that  were  required.   Settlers  going  onto  raw  desert 
land  had  to  clear  it,  level  it,  and  prepare  the  surface  for 
irrigation.   All  this  took  time,  hard  work,  and  money.   Very 
few  of  the  first  generation  settlers  were  able  to  meet  their  own 
personal  costs,  to  say  nothing  of  paying  for  water.   Usually 
in  the  West  at  that  time  it  took  from  two  to  four  succeeding 
families,  each  contributing  something,  before  the  final  family 
could  succeed.   This  was  true  of  the  projects  the  Trowbridge 
and  Niver  Company  was  financing.   It  was  because  of  these 
facts  that  the  Bureau  of  Reclamation  had  been  established  by 
Theodore  Roosevelt  in  1902.   The  Bureau  was  empowered  to  grant 
long  term  payments  with  no  interest  charge. 

Baum:      Were  these  ones  that  went  bankrupt  privately  settled  ones, 
not  irrigation  districts? 

Packard:    Yes,  they  were  private  irrigation  companies  that  tried  to 
develop  water  for  sale  at  a  profit.   Developing  irrigation 
projects  was  a  very  popular  thing  at  that  time. 


Packard:        The  Trowbridge  and  Niver  firm  put  on  a  terrific  exhibit 
in  Chicago,  in  one  of  the  big  show  places,  having  exhibits 
of  carloads  of  apples  and  other  products  from  small  irrigation 
projects  that  had  already  been  developed.   There  was  a  lot  of 
excitement  about  it  at  that  time. 

Baum:      Oh,  I've  read  some  of  the  pamphlets.   They  have  a  lot  of  them 
in  Bancroft  Library. 

Packard:    Yes.   A  lot  of  excitement  about  the  possibilities  of  devel 
oping  land  in  the  West.   But  they  found  there  was  not  enough 
money  in  it,  not  enough  profit.   The  farmers  went  broke  without 
enough  capital. 

Baum:      Did  your  father  have  any  opinions  about  the  validity  of  any 
of  these  enterprises? 

Packard:    To  my  father's  credit,  he  turned  down  the  bonds  in  the  first 
project  he  investigated  in  Idaho,  a  project  on  the  Payette 
River,  called  the  Canyon  Canal  project.   And,  as  a  result  of 
that,  he  was  dismissed  by  the  company  and  within  three  or  four 
years  after  that  the  company  went  into  bankruptcy. 

My  brother,  John,  then  in  high  school  in  Oak  Park,  joined 
me  in  Idaho  and  remained  with  me  for  a  year.   He  and  my  father 
never  understood  each  other.   John  rejected  parental  discipline 
and  it  seemed  best  all  around  that  he  should  be  with  me  for  a 
while,  a  decision  in  which  I  heartily  agreed.   John,  of  course, 
looked  upon  me  as  a  Y.M.C.A.  man  and  was,  therefore,  on  his 
guard.   John  landed  at  Payette  with  an  old  Springfield  forty- 
five  caliber  rifle  which  seemed  appropriate  for  anyone  entering 


Packard:    the  great  wild  West.   His  vision  of  our  Association  was  shocked, 
first,  by  the  fact  that  I  suggested  we  play  a  game  of  pool  at 
the  hotel  while  we  waited  for  a  train  to  Emtnett,  which  was 
to  be  our  headquarters.   The  second  shock  came  the  first  Sunday 
morning  when  I  suggested  that  we  go  for  a  swim.   On  seeing 
John's  surprise,  I  helped  the  situation  by  saying  we  would  take 
a  morning  bath  which  he  had  been  accustomed  to  at  home.   At 
any  rate,  we  hit  it  off  in  great  shape.   We  built  a  one  room 
board  and  bat  shack,  (without  the  bats)  bought  two  chairs, 
built  a  rough  board  table  in  one  corner,  made  our  two  beds  on 
the  floor  and  cooked  our  meals  on  a  kerosene  stove  and  spent 
our  days  grubbing  sagebrush.   I  hired  a  neighbor  with  horses 
and  a  Fresno  scraper  to  level  enough  land  to  conform  to  the 
government  requirement  for  proving  up  on  a  Carey  Act  claim. 
We  soon  arranged  to  get  two  meals  a  day  at  our  neighbors. 
Mr.  Hull  was  a  tall  bearded  man  who  had  come  West  in  a  covered 
wagon.   He  could  hit  a  target  with  his  frontiersman's  pistol 
much  more  accurately  than  we  could  with  John's  Springfield 

The  Hulls  had  a  daughter  named  Millie  who  was  about 
John's  age,  who  took  quite  a  liking  to  him--a  feeling  which 
was  not  reciprocated  by  John.   One  evening  at  a  party  at  the 
school  house  a  game  was  started  where  the  couple  would  stand 
up  facing  each  other.   When  the  man  in  charge  named  something 
that  the  individual  liked,  that  individual  was  supposed  to  take 
a  step  forward.   If  the  item  mentioned  was  disliked  the  individual 


Packard:    was  supposed  to  step  back.   The  climax  would  come  when  the 

couple  were  near  enough  to  kiss.  John  was  caught  in  this  game 
with  Millie.   The  first  item  mentioned  was  sugar.   Millie 
immediately  took  a  demure  step  forward  while  John  turned  around 
and  took  as  long  a  step  as  he  could  in  the  opposite  direction. 
The  two  never  met  and  John  had  to  pay  a  penalty. 

We  all  went  to  Emmett  for  the  Fourth  of  July  celebration. 
The  cattle  men  from  the  surrounding  country  put  on  a  wild  rodeo. 
The  lumbermen,  who  had  just  reached  town  with  a  log  drive  down 
the  river,  put  on  log  sawing  contests  and  log  rolling  in  the 
mill  pond,  while  the  miners  from  the  Thunder  Mountain  gold 
fields  had  rock  drilling  contests.   Nothing  could  have  been 
more  exciting  for  John  and  me. 

Our  means  of  transportation  was  a  donkey  which  we  bought 
for  $10.00  in  Emmett...  The  front  position  was  the  favorite 
because   in  going  uphill  the  front  rider  could  slide  back  and 
push  the  hind  rider  off  the  end.   (  Laughter  )   Unfortunately, 
the  day  we  bought  the  burro  and  were  riding  him  out  of  town 
two  members  of  the  Trowbridge  Bonding  firm  were  in  town  and 
recognized  us .   One  of  the  men  was  a  deacon  in  the  Oak  Park 
church.   He  wore  a  Prince  Albert  coat  and  top  hat  at  home  and 
had  a  full  set  of  whiskers  patterned  after  Charles  Evans  Hughes. 
It  seemed  quite  proper  for  us  to  invite  them  out  to  dinner  on 
our  Carey  Act  claim.   I  had  no  idea  they  would  accept.   But 
the  next  day,  just  before  noon,  when  John  and  I  were  grubbing 
sagebrush  I  saw  some  dust  down  the  road  and  a  team  of  horses 


Packard:    approaching.   I  sent  John  to  the  shack  to  put  it  in  order  and 
went  out  to  meet  our  guests.   They  were  first  impressed  by  the 
rattlesnake  and  badger  skins  that  were  nailed  to  the  outside 
of  the  shack.   John  was  pushing  a  ring  of  dust  and  dirt  down 
a  knot  hole  in  the  floor  with  a  whisk  broom  when  they  entered. 
Thinking  that  the  occasion  called  for  something  special  I 
decided  on  French  fried  potatoes  and  flapjacks.   I  had  never 
cooked  French  fries  and,  therefore,  made  the  mistake  of  putting 
the  potatoes  in  the  pan  before  the  bacon  juice  was  hot  enough. 
Result  —  total  failure.   But  I  was  an  expert  with  flapjacks 
and  cooked  a  pile  about  a  foot  high  and  invited  our  guests 
to  help  themselves.   Everything  was  all  right  until  the  log 
cabin  maple  syrup  can  was  passed.   To  our  astonishment  out 
came  a  flood  of  drowned  red  ants.   The  sad  part  of  this  incident 
was  the  wild  stories  our  guests  carried  back  to  Oak  Park. 

Berkeley:   Graduate  Work  in  Soils  &  Irrigation  Engineering 

Packard:    John  and  I  returned  to  Berkeley  where  I  went  to  college  and 
John  went  to  high  school.   I  had  the  same  ideas  that  I  had 
when  I  entered  college  at  Ames.   I  wanted  to  earn  my  way  if 
I  could,  although  it  was  not  necessary.   John  and  I  waited 
table  at  a  college  boarding  house  for  our  room  and  board  and 
I  worked  for  the  Geological  Survey  in  running  alkali  tests 
on  water  samples,  for  cash  money. 

I  registered  as  a  graduate  student  specializing  in  soils 


Packard:    and  irrigation  engineering.   I  was  fortunate,  indeed,  to  have 

my  soil  work  under  Dr.  Eugene  Hilgard,  the  dean  of  soil  scientists 
and  a  very  wonderful  character.   I  was  equally  fortunate  in 
having  my  irrigation  engineering  under  Prof.  B.  A.  Etcheverry 
and  my  irrigation  law  under  Prof.  A.  E.  Chandler.   All  of  these 
professors  remained  as  my  personal  friends  and  mentors  during 
their  lifetimes. 

I  recall  an  incident  involving  Dr.  Hilgard  which  I  thought 
was  the  height  of  absurdity.   He  was  to  be  initiated  into  the 
Alpha  Zeta  fraternity  as  an  honored  member.   rfhen  the  under 
graduate  student  in  charge  of  the  ceremony  went  through  the 
ritual  he  read  in  solemn  tones  "Now  that  you  have  entered  our 
wonderful  fraternal  brotherhood,  your  future  will  be  bright," 
or  something  like  that.   Dr.  Hilgard  never  batted  an  eye 
although  I  came  near  laughing. 

When  I  entered  Cal,  I  was  acutely  conscious  of  the  serious 
ness  of  my  work.   I  realized  that  my  living  would  depend  upon 
what  I  knew- -a  viewpoint  which  had  not  impressed  me  when  I 
was  a  student  volunteer.   As  a  result  I  applied  myself  as  I 
never  had  before.   As  a  result  I  got  top  grades  which  I  had 
never  done  before.   I  represented  what  I  have  come  to  know 
as  slow  starters.   I  had  had  no  compelling  thirst  for  knowledge 
during  my  school  and  college  days.   Another  factor  was,  I 
think,  that  questions  of  science,  economics,  and  philosophy 
were  never  raised  in  conversation  at  home.   This  slowness 
in  becoming  aware  of  reality  applied  to  my  work  at  Stanford 
where  my  marks  in  the  social  sciences  were  abominable.   But 


Packard:    eleven  years  later  when  I  was  taking  graduate  work  in  economics 
at  Harvard,  I  received  top  grades  and  an  invitation  to  join 
the  faculty. 

The  point  I  want  to  make  is  that  slow  starters  who  have 
a  hard  time  getting  into  college  these  days  are  not  necessarily 
low  I.Q.'s  who  must  be  relegated  to  inferior  positions.   They 
may  have  qualities  which  are  not  accurately  measured  by  academic 
standards  at  the  high  school  age. 

I  was  graduated  from  Cal  in  1909  with  the  degree  of 
Master  of  Science. 

Irrigation  Investigation  -  1909 

Packard:   My  first  job  out  of  college  was  with  the  Irrigation  Investig 
ation  office  of  the  U.  S.  Department  of  Agriculture,  gathering 
irrigation  data  in  the  Upper  San  Joaquin  Valley  for  the  1910 
Irrigation  Census.   The  territory  I  covered  included  Kings  and 
Tulare  counties  and  part  of  Kern  County.   I  had  to  get  as 
complete  a  record  as  possible  from  every  irrigation  project 
in  the  area.   Large  operators  were  just  beginning  to  build 
levees  in  the  Tulare  Lake  area.   Artesian  wells  were  running 
freely  on  many  of  the  large  cattle  raising  properties,  with 
no  thought  of  any  possible  shortage  of  water.   On  one  trip 
I  remember  driving  two  miles  or  more  through  a  lake  of  water 
where  I  kept  to  the  center  of  the  road  by  keeping  halfway  between 
the  tops  of  the  fence  posts  on  either  side...  On  one  occasion 


Packard:    I  went  with  the  county  engineer  of  Tulare  county  when  I  measured 
the  division  of  water  between  the  Kawea  and  St.  Johns  Rivers-- 
a  division  set  by  the  courts  after  a  suit  which  cost  $500,000.00. 
As  I  recall,  the  court  order  divided  the  water  down  to  half 
a  second  foot.   But  when  the  county  engineer  made  the  actual 
division  he  determined  the  flow  by  throwing  a  stick  into  the 
stream  and  recorded  the  time  it  took  to  go  100  feet  which  had 
been  paced  off  on  the  river  bank.   The  cross  section  was  made 
by  wading  across  the  stream  with  a  wooden  yard  stick,  recording 
the  depth  of  water  at  ten  foot  intervals.   Watching  from  the 
bank  I  was  quite  certain  that  a  mistake  of  a  foot  was  made 
in  two  readings.   But  the  result  appeared  to  be  satisfactory, 
because  I  heard  of  no  complaints  from  farmers. 

Years  later,  in  various  capacities,  I  was  involved  in  the 
efforts  to  conserve  water  and  to  get  a  new  supply  from  the 
Sacramento  River. 

Baum:      Frank  Adams  worked  on  that  census,  didn't  he? 

Packard:    I  worked  with  Frank  all  the  way  through,  over  the  years,  but 
in  that  particular  case  I  was  working  for  Cohen,  who  was  in 
charge  of  the  census  survey.   I  want  to  pay  tribute  to  Frank 
Adams  whose  sincerity  of  purpose  and  loyalty  I  have  always 
greatly  admired.   Although  my  brand  of  democracy  often  irritated 
him,  he  never  failed  to  come  to  my  defense  when  I  needed  a  friend. 


Marriage  to  Emma  Lou  Leonard,  December  20,  1909 
Packard:        After  completing  my  irrigation  census  work,  I  returned 

to  Iowa  for  my  marriage  to  Emma  Leonard,  a  classmate  at  Ames. 
It  was  love  at  first  sight  with  me.   Emmy  Lou,  as  she  was  called 
at  college,  was  very  active  in  class  activities  and  always 
ready  to  take  part  in  college  doings.   She  was  born  on  a  farm 
near  Waukee ,  Iowa,  and  had  come  to  Ames  to  take  a  domestic 
science  course.   We  hit  it  off  as  good  friends  from  the  start. 
Her  father,  Henry  Lee  Leonard,  (known  affectionately  in  his 
home  town  in  Vermont  as  Hell  Let  Loose)  was  a  pioneer  settler 
who  led  the  farmers  in  the  area  in  tile  draining  the  land, 
selecting  seed  corn,  and  in  feeding  cattle  from  the  range 
country  for  shipment  to  the  Chicago  market.   Once  when  he  was 
asked  to  submit  a  paper  at  a  farmers'  meeting  at  Ames  he  began 
by  saying,  "If  you  want  good  corn  you  don't  plant  popcorn,  and 
if  you  want  good  cattle  you  don't  use  popcorn  bulls."  He 
was  an  early  subscriber  to  Wallace's  Farmer  and  the  Rural  New 
Yorker.   He  took  the  Chicago  Tribune  to  keep  abreast  of  the 
livestock  market.   He  was  a  member  of  the  Populist  party,  which 
was  the  radical  party  of  his  time.   In  order  to  get  better 
credit  terms  for  farmers  he  established  a  bank  in  Waukee, 
where  he  served  as  president  until  his  death  in  1912.   Emma's 
mother  was  one  of  the  kindliest  persons  I  have  known.   She  had 
been  a  student  at  Knox  College,  Illinois,  and  wanted  all  of 
her  children  to  have  an  education.   She  raised  eight  children, 
all  of  whom  followed  her  example  by  joining  the  local  Christian 


Packard:    church. 

Emma  was  not  only  active  in  college  life,  but  was  a  top 
student.   She  played  on  the  college  women's  basketball  team 
and  played  the  piano  at  all  Y.M.  and  Y.W.C.A.  meetings.   When 
I  went  to  Stanford  she  remained  at  Ames,  serving  as  assistant 
college  librarian.   The  following  year  she  served  as  a  Y.W.C.A. 
social  worker  in  the  South  Carolina  mill  village  of  Greer, 
where  she  was  known  as  "Miss  Emmer" .   The  Y  work  was  financed 
by  Anne  Morgan,  who  was  keenly  interested  in  efforts  to  improve 
the  living  standard  of  the  mill  workers.   The  psychology  which 
Emma  encountered  was  dominated  by  the  idea  that  work  and  going 
to  church  were  the  two  rightful  activities  of  any  worker. 
Play  was  somehow  associated  with  sin  and  indolence.   The  twelve 
hour  day  was  in  force  and  although  child  labor  was  prohibited 
by  law,  children  would  be  allowed  to  help  their  parents  in  the 
mill  work.   I  had  my  first  contact  with  the  red  soil  hills 
of  the  Piedmont  country  when  I  visited  Emma  during  the  Christmas 
vacation  in  1908,  going  from  Berkeley  to  Greer,  by  train,  of 

We  were  married  in  Waukee ,  Iowa,  on  December  20,  1909. 
My  mother  and  brother  came  to  the  wedding  which  was  conducted 
by  Dr.  Orange  Howard  Cessna,  professor  of  psychology  and  the 
college  chaplain  at  Ames.   Immediately  following  the  wedding 
Emma  and  I  took  the  train  for  Des  Moines,  where  we  transfered 
to  a  pullman  car  for  the  trip  to  Kansas  City,  where  we  connected 


Packard:    with  the  through  Santa  Fe  train  for  the  Grand  Canyon,  Los 
Angeles,  and  our  new  home  in  El  Centre,  the  county  seat  of 
Imperial  Valley  where  I  was  to  serve  as  a  representative  of  the 
College  of  Agriculture  of  the  University  of  California  for 
seven  interesting  years. 

Walter  Packard  family 
Berkeley  -  1917. 

Walter  Packard  and  Carl  McQuiston 
Palm  Springs  -  1916. 

Packard s  and  the  Veihmeyers 
Berkeley  -  1917. 

'      i      .-.if 


IMPERIAL  VALLEY,   1909  -  1917 
Living  Conditions  in  El  Centro 

Baum:      Would  you  explain,  now,  what  you  were  doing  in  Imperial  Valley? 

Packard:    I  went  to  Imperial  Valley,  as  a  representative  of  the  University 
of  California,  to  gather  facts  on  which  the  College  of  Agric 
ulture  could  decide  whether  or  not  they  should  establish  an 
experiment  farm  in  the  Valley.   The  Valley  people  had  made 
a  request  for  such  farm  through  the  State  Legislature,  which 
had  appropriated  $6,000.00  to  cover  the  cost  of  an  investigation 
of  the  need.   I  was  selected  for  the  job  by  Edward  J.  Wickson, 
then  Dean  of  the  College  of  Agriculture  and  editor  of  the 
Pacific  Rural  Press ,  the  leading  agricultural  journal  of  the 
state.   Dr.  J.  Eliot  Coit,  a  University  of  California  horti- 
culturalist  with  wide  experience  in  the  Southwest,  was  my 
immediate  supervisor. 

Emma  and  I  arrived  in  El  Centro  after  spending  Christmas 
day  on  a  honeymoon  trip  to  the  Grand  Canyon,  arriving  in 
El  Centro  just  in  time  to  make  us  eligible  for  membership 
in  the  Imperial  Valley  Pioneers.   I  was  receiving  the  munifi 
cent  salary  of  $100.00  per  month  with  no  allowance  for  living 
expenses . 

Baum:      You  only  had  $100.00  per  month  to  start  with  there? 

Packard:    Yes.   But  that  was  not  as  bad  as  it  now  sounds.   We  could  get 
a  four  course  dinner  at  the  Oregon  hotel  —  the  best  hotel  in 


Packard:    the  Valley--for  fifty  cents.   After  such  a  splurge  we  could 
spend  a  pleasant  evening  at  an  outdoor  movie  for  15  cents. 
I  can  remember  the  thrill  we  had  when  we  moved  into  the  new 
house  on  the  Experiment  Farm  two  years  later,  where  we  paid 
no  rent  and  my  salary  was  raised  to  $1,800.00."   We  started 
housekeeping  in  one  room  which  formed  the  front  half  of  a  wooden 
shack  for  which  we  paid  $15.00  per  month.   After  a  month  of 
very  primitive  living  we  moved  to  a  house  across  the  street 
which  we  got  for  $25.00  per  month.   It  had  a  bath,  kitchen, 
very  small  living  room,  a  dining  porch,  and  two  bedrooms, 
one  of  which  we  rented  to  a  real  estate  agent.   The  yard 
was  bare  but  was  given  a  strange  character  by  the  fact  that 
the  gravel  walk  leading  to  the  front  sidewalk  was  lined,  on 
both  sides,  with  beer  bottles  stuck  into  the  ground  upside 
down.   The  house  had  no  insulation  and  became  an  oven  when 
the  hot  weather  started.   On  particularly  hot  days  Emma  would 
run  water  into  the  bath  tub,  put  a  pillow  in  to  lean  on,  and 
spend  the  afternoon  reading. 

The  heat,  at  times,  seemed  unbearable.   Hanging  wet 
burlap  over  open  doors  and  windows  helped  some  by  cooling 
the  air  a  bit,  but  the  practice  also  increased  the  humidity 
which  tended  to  make  the  heat  more  unbearable.   Soaking  sheets 
and  placing  them  on  the  bed  with  an  electric  fan  blowing  on 
the  bed  helped  to  cool  the  mattress. 

This  practice  reminds  me  of  an  incident  which  happened 
when  Foster  Campbell,  an  Ames  classmate,  and  his  wife  spent 


Packard:    a  day  with  us  in  Tent  City  on  the  Coronado  sand  strip  in  San 

Diego.   Foster  had  a  very  sensitive  skin,  but  paid  no  attention 
to  the  danger  of  sunburn.   He  would  go  in  and  out  of  the  water, 
lying  in  the  bright  sun  between  dips.   He  and  I  drove  back  to 
the  Valley  that  night.   The  next  morning  he  began  to  develop 
water  blisters  as  he  perspired  in  the  heat.   I  had  him  lie 
naked  on  a  wet  sheet  with  a  wet  sheet  over  him  and  let  the 
fan  cool  him  off.   In  retrospect,  I  don't  know  why  he  didn't 
die  of  pneumonia. 

Because  of  the  heat  many  of  the  wives  would  leave  the 
Valley  with  the  children  when  school  closed  in  June,  and  would 
stay  out  of  the  heat  until  school  opened  in  the  fall.   I 
remember  attending  a  party  during  the  first  winter  I  was  there 
when  all  of  the  women  vowed  they  would  not  abandon  the  men 
during  the  next  summer.   A  small  cyclone  occurred  about  the 
middle  of  June  and  the  electric  current  was  cut  off  all  over 
the  Valley.   Emma  had  already  left,  so  I  had  dinner  that  night 
in  a  cafe  lighted  by  a  lamp  and  with  no  fans  running.   Later 
on  I  saw  the  evening  train  pulling  out  for  Los  Angeles  with  every 
reservation  taken  by  the  women  who  had  vowed  to  stay.   (  Laughter  ) 

Many  farm  families  lived  in  tent  houses  with  screened 
open  sides  and  covered  by  a  second  roof,  often  a  thatched  roof 
made  of  arrow  weeds  supported  by  a  light  frame.   The  space 
between  the  roof  created  an  air  current  while  the  top  roof 
prevented  the  sun  from  shining  directly  on  the  tent.   The 
tents  were  usually  placed  on  top  of  a  wooden  frame,  three  or 


Packard:    four  feet  high  with  board  floors.   Some  of  these  tent  houses 
were  quite  elaborate  affairs.   The  general  plan  permitted 
many  modified  designs. 

Baum:      But  you  didn't  ever  have  to  live  quite  that  primitively,  did 

Packard:   No,  we  never  had  to  live  in  a  tent  house.   But  for  three  or 

four  months  while  the  house  was  being  built  on  the  Experiment 
Farm,  we  lived  in  a  one  room  shack  next  to  a  ditch  bank  with 
no  running  water  or  inside  toilet  facilities  and,  of  course, 
no  electric  lights  and  consequently  no  fans.   The  personally 
disturbing  character  of  this  environment  was  demonstrated  when 
a  fly  flew  into  a  lemon  pie  which  Emma  had  just  made  and  was 
carrying  to  the  table.   The  pie  ended  on  the  ditch  bank  and 
frustrated  tears  flowed  for  quite  a  while. 

Since  we  could  find  no  good  houses  for  rent  in  El  Centre, 
we  decided  to  build  a  house  of  our  own.   It  was  a  two  bedroom 
redwood  house  modeled  after  the  design  of  a  house  we  had  seen 
in  Pasadena.   It  cost  $1,800.000,  and  was  located  on  a  lot 
costing  $100.00,  at  the  corner  of  Sixth  and  Holt.   I  managed 
to  supervise  construction  while  Emma  was  spending  the  summer 
and  fall  with  my  father  and  mother  in  Pasadena.   When  Emma 
returned  with  Clara,  who  was  born  in  the  Pasadena  hospital  on 
November  2,  1910,  we  moved  into  the  new  home  and  celebrated 
Christmas  with  a  greasewood  shrub  for  a  Christmas  tree  and  with 
my  gifted  artist  cousin,  Bertha  Heise,  as  our  guest. 

Emmy  Lou,  our  second  daughter,  joined  us  three  and  a 


Packard:    half  years  later.   She  was  born  on  the  Experiment  Farm  on 
April  15,  1914. 

The  dust  storms  in  those  early  days  were  almost  as  bad  as 
the  heat.   They  would  blow  for  three  or  four  days  at  a  time 
during  the  spring  and  would  not  only  cover  everything  with 
dust,  but  would  create  an  electric  force  that  would  put  everyone 
on  edge. 

Mrs.    :    I  remember  in  one  of  these  storms  I  had  some  of  my  scalloped 

wedding  doilies  on  the  dining  room  table.   When  I  picked  them 

up  after  the  storm,  the  pattern  of  the  doilies  with  all  the 
scallops  remained  as  a  dust  pattern  on  the  table.   I  still  have 
the  picture  I  took  of  that  work  of  art.   The  dust  sifted  into 
linen  closets  and  drawers.   After  a  storm  I'd  have  to  shake, 
dust  or  wash  everything  in  the  house.   The  dust  was  like  flour, 
you  just  couldn't  keep  it  out. 

Packard:    Dust  remained  a  source  of  irritation  during  our  seven  years 
in  the  Valley. 

Early  Local  Politics 

Packard:        On  arriving  in  El  Centre,  I  was  given  office  space  by 
Mr.  Medhurst  who  was  editor  of  the  Free  Lance,  a  newspaper 
which  I  assumed  was  owned  by  the  Southern  Pacific.   Medhurst 
was  an  old  employee  of  the  Southern  Pacific  and  a  very  colorful 
character.   The  Free  Lance  was  in  competition  with  the  Imperial 
Valley  Press,  whose  editor,  Captain  Kelley  was  one  of  the  first 
State  Foresters  in  California.   He  was  an  interesting  character 


Packard:    who  always  wore  a  fancy  vest  about  which  Medhurst  often  edit- 
oralized.   Captain  Kelley,  among  other  things,  was  a  famous 
pistol  shot.   He  was  famous  also  for  having  won  a  bet  with  the 
original  William  Randolph  Hearst  by  capturing  a  grizzly  bear 
alive  in  a  trap  he  devised  in  the  Sierras.   The  bear  occupied 
a  cage  in  the  San  Francisco  zoo  for  many  years. 

My  association  with  Medhurst  gave  me  a  chance  to  get  some 
interesting  facts  regarding  the  earlier  history  of  the  Valley. 
There  was  a  lively  contest  between  the  towns  of  Imperial  and 
El  Centre  for  the  county  seat  of  Imperial  County.   Mr.  W.  F.  Holt, 
who  established  Holtville,  on  the  east  side  of  the  Valley, 
wanted  to  build  a  branch  line  from  Holtville  to  the  main  track 
of  the  Southern  Pacific.   He  first  asked  to  have  a  right  of 
way  into  the  city  of  Imperial,  which  had  already  been  established, 
but  those  who  were  in  charge  of  the  development  of  the  city 
of  Imperial  either  refused  or  were  charging  too  much.   So 
Mr.  Holt  established  a  new  town  of  his  own,  which  was  called 
El  Centre.   This,  of  course,  led  to  a  very  active  fight  between 
the  two  towns . 

A  crucial  decision  affecting  this  fight  was  made  when 
Imperial  County  was  created  by  separating  it  from  San  Diego 
County.   There  was  a  meeting  of  the  supervisors  in  San  Diego 
and  representatives  from  Imperial  Valley  had  to  attend  this 
meeting  to  put  up  their  claims  regarding  the  boundaries  of  the 
supervisorial  districts.   It  happened  that  the  line  that  had 
been  drawn  by  the  Imperial  people  was  just  halfway  between 


Packard:    El  Centro  and  Imperial.   But  Mr.  Holt  found  that  the  supervisor 
of  San  Diego  County,  who  would  carry  over  and  be  the  only 
already  elected  supervisor  of  the  new  county,  owned  a  farm 
just  on  the  Imperial  side  of  this  division  line.   So  at  the 
meeting  in  San  Diego,  Mr.  Holt  said  that  he  was  very  much  inter 
ested  in  getting  land  north  of  Holtville,  because  Holtville 
was  his  town  and  he  wanted  to  extend  its  influence.   He  would 
be  willing,  he  said,  to  give  them  half  a  mile  of  land  between 
El  Centro  and  Imperial  in  exchange  for  the  land  north  of  Holtville. 
So,  they  all  agreed  and  that  was  fine.   It  was  not  until  they 
got  halfway  back  to  Imperial  that  the  Imperial  people  realized 
that  Holt  had  taken  over  their  supervisor.   (  Laughter  ). 
Holt,  thus,  controlled  the  only  already  elected  supervisor, 
who  was  a  Holt  man,  and  who  from  then  on  represented  the  Imperial 
supervisorial  district.  Mr.  Holt,  who  was  a  devout  church  man, 
said  to  me  one  time  he  had  always  told  his  men  never  to  do 
anything  that  was  dishonest.   "But,"  he  added,  "they  certainly 
used  a  lot  of  money." 
Baum:      Did  you  say  that  Holt  was  a  Southern  Pacific  employee  and  so 

was  Medhurst? 

Packard:   Medhurst  had  been  a  station  agent  with  the  Southern  Pacific. 
But  Holt  was  a  capitalist  and  a  banker  living  in  Redlands. 
He  was  working  with  rather  than  for,  the  Southern  Pacific. 
His  standing  was  indicated  by  the  fact  that  he  had  a  private 
pullman  car  which  often  stood  for  days  on  the  El  Centro  or 
Holtville  siding. 


Baum:      I  suppose  the  Southern  Pacific  was  trying  to  build  up  farming 

there  to. . . 
Packard:    Oh  yes.   The  Southern  Pacific  was  involved  very  deeply  in 

Valley  affairs,  politically  and  otherwise.   When  the  Colorado 
River  broke  through  in  1906  and  cut  two  new  river  channels 
through  the  Valley  and  into  the  Salton  Sea,  the  Southern 
Pacific  Company  had  to  relocate  their  main  line  to  keep  above 
the  rising  water.   The  break  was  finally  closed  by  a  titanic 
engineering  effort  in  which  the  Southern  Pacific  Company 
played  an  important  role,  by  running  trains  of  flat  cars  loaded 
with  large  rocks  into  the  new  channel  when  the  water  began 
to  recede.   This  directed  the  water  down  the  old  channel  to 
the  Gulf  of  California. 

I  am  indebted  to  Medhurst  for  my  first  contact  with  the 
Colorado  River  problem.   He  asked  me  to  report  on  what  was 
happening  below  the  border  during  an  unusually  high  flood 
stage  of  the  river.   There  was  constant  fear  in  the  Valley 
that  the  river  would  again  leave  its  banks  and  establish  a 
new  channel  leading  north  into  the  Salton  Sea.   A  group  of 
about  fifteen  people  made  the  trip.   We  were  the  guests  of  the 
California  Mexican  Ranch,  whose  manager  Mr.  Walter  Bowker 
directed  the  investigation.   We  went  by  car  across  open  desert 
country  to  a  point  where  we  could  be  transferred  to  a  flat 
bottomed  gasoline  launch  which  cruised  over  much  of  the  flooded 
area.   We  camped  that  night  on  high  ground  near  the  mud  volcanoes 
where  I  nearly  lost  my  life.   I  foolishly  left  a  prescribed 


Packard:    path  through  the  area  in  order  to  get  a  better  view  of  the 

boiling  mud  in  one  of  the  larger  craters.   The  crust  began  to 
break  and  I  narrowly  missed  falling  head  first  into  the  crater. 
After  a  breakfast  of  sausage  and  fried  eggs  cooked  over  the 
camp  fire,  we  continued  the  cruise  among  the  mesquite  trees 
scattered  over  the  flooded  area.   No  significant  cutting  was 
noticed  and  no  new  channels  were  being  formed,  so  we  returned 
to  the  cars  for  the  drive  home,  where  I  prepared  an  account 
of  the  trip  for  the  Free  Lance. 

Baum:      Did  you  have  any  other  contact  with  Mexico  then?   I  know  you 
spent  some  years  in  Mexico  later  on. 

Packard:   Yes,  I  did.   I  remember  two  personal  incidents,  both  related 
to  the  Madera  Revolution  which  started  in  1910.   Since  one 
objective  of  the  land  reform  program  was  to  take  over  the 
California-Mexico  ranch  belonging  to  Harry  Chandler  of  the  Los 
Angeles  Times,  considerable  fighting  between  the  regular 
Mexican  army  stationed  in  Mexicali  and  the  Madera  forces  occurred 
below  the  line. 

On  the  morning  of  a  day  when  a  determined  attack  on  Mexicali 
by  the  advancing  revolutionary  forces  was  expected} I  managed 
to  get  a  bird's  eye  view  from  a  roost  on  top  of  the  Calexico 
water  tower  located  on  the  International  border.   I  could  look 
into  the  trenches  of  the  defending  garrison  below  me  and  could 
get  occasional  glimpses  of  what  I  assumed  to  be  the  attacking 
forces  across  New  River.   The  planned  attack  was  not  made,  so  my 
anticipated  rendezvous  with  destiny  brought  no  results. 


Packard:        The  other  incident  to  which  I  referred  concerned  tny  brother 
John  who  was  spending  his  high  school  vacation  with  us  in  El 
Centro.  As  I  recorded  earlier,  John  had  become  a  socialist 
after  hearing  Eugene  Debs  make  one  of  his  impassioned  talks 
in  the  Greek  Theater  at  the  University  of  California  in  his 
1908  campaign  for  the  Presidency.   On  a  visit  to  the  Mexican 
border  he  became  intensely  interested  in  the  cause  of  the 
Revolution,  and  wanted  to  take  my  shotgun  and  22 -rifle  and  join 
the  Madera  Forces.   His  revolutionary  zeal  was  whetted  and,  in 
a  sense,  diluted  by  the  promise  of  160  acres  of  land  after 
victory  had  been  obtained.   I  managed  to  avert  the  crisis  by 
getting  him  a  job  on  the  State  Game  Farm  near  Hayward--in  which 
he  was  very  much  interested.   I  might  add  that  some  years  later 
John  returned  to  the  Valley  as  a  civil  liberties  lawyer  to 
defend  the  rights  of  striking  farm  workers  who  had  been  arrested 
and  held  in  jail  as  a  strike  breaking  technique.   On  two  occasions 
the  vigilante  farmer  group  became  so  threatening  that  John 
had  to  be  escorted  out  of  the  Valley  by  motorcycle  police. 

Another  incident,  shedding  light  on  the  politics  of  the 
time,  occurred  during  an  election  in  July.   It  was  hot  and 
everyone  who  could  get  away  had  moved  out  of  the  Valley. 
So  just  before  election  day  Medhurst  went  to  Yuma  and  picked 
up  all  the  bums  he  could  find  that  would  come  to  El  Centro. 
(  Laughter  )   He  gave  them  the  names  of  the  people  whom  he 
knew  had  moved  out  of  the  Valley  for  the  summertime.   They  were 
all  lined  up  for  the  election.   But  the  first  man  to  appear 


Packard:    was  an  Irishman  who  had  forgotten  the  name  that  Medhurst  gave 
him.   So  he  got  out  the  paper.   The  election  judge  said, 
"What's  that?"  And  he  said,  "This  is  my  name."  Medhurst, 
informed  of  what  he  did,  said,  "Well,  I  had  to  just  tell 
my  forty  men  to  turn  around  and  march  out,"  but  he  said,  "I 
was  in  no  danger  because  the  other  side  had  the  same  number." 
(  Laughter  )   But  that's  the  way  politics  went  down  there 
at  that  time. 

There  was  another  incident  involving  Medhurst  which 
further  illustrates  the  character  of  the  times.   The  city  of 
Imperial  voted  wet  and  became  a  rundown  saloon  town.   All 
other  towns  in  the  Valley  were  dry.   But  bootlegging  was 
widespread.   Medhurst  used  the  Free  Lance  in  leading  an  anti- 
bootlegging  campaign  in  El  Centro,  although  he  was  a  heavy 
drinker.   Mr.  Davis,  who  owned  one  of  the  main  drugstores,  was 
supposed  to  be  the  principal  offender.   I  went  to  the  final 
town  meeting  when  Medhurst  was  going  to  discuss  the  issue. 
He  won  and  as  a  result  Davis  had  to  stop  selling  liquor  for 
awhile.   When  I  was  walking  home  from  the  meeting  with  Medhurst, 
he  stopped  at  a  restaurant  and  said,  "Just  a  minute.   I  have 
to  go  get  something."  He  came  out  with  a  bottle  of  whiskey, 
and  said,  "Davis  has  been  charging  me  too  much.   I  simply 
would  not  stand  for  it."  And  that  was  the  whole  reason  (  Laughter) 
for  his  campaign. 

During  the  Prohibition  era  there  was  a  speaker  from  Los 
Angeles  who  was  addressing  a  group  in  El  Centro  on  the  dangers 


Packard:    of  alcohol.   He  had  a  demonstration  showing  how  alcohol  would 
kill  germs.   And  I  remember  quite  distinctly  when  a  farmer's 
wife  sitting  in  front  of  me,  leaned  over  to  her  husband  and 
said,  "I'm  never  going  to  drink  any  more  of  this  Colorado 
muddy  water  without  a  little  whiskey  in  it."   (  Laughter  ) 

Baum:      He  sold  her  on  the  whiskey,  huh. 

Social  Life 

Baum:      It  sounds  like  there  wasn't  much  family  life  there  in  Imperial 
Valley,  if  the  conditions  were  so  terrible. 

Packard:    Oh  no,  there  was  a  camaraderie  about  living  in  the  Valley 
during  those  pioneer  days  that  made  everybody  neighbors. 
There  were  many  young  college  graduates  both  on  farms  and  in 
all  of  the  towns.   Some  were  young  professional  people—doctors , 
lawyers,  and  real  estate  agents—getting  a  start  in  a  pioneer 
area.   A  country  club  was  organized  in  El  Centro  which  became 
quite  a  center  for  social  life.   The  Ten  Thousand  Club  was 
a  women's  Chamber  of  Commerce.   The  objective  was  to  increase 
the  population  of  El  Centro,  then  about  3,000  to  10,000. 
The  Ten  Thousand  Club  finally  became  a  part  of  the  Federated 
Women's  Clubs  of  the  state.   Emma  was  active  in  this  organ 
ization  and  also  in  organizing  the  first  P.T.A.  in  El  Centro. 

And  then  there  were  occasional  trips  to  the  desert  and  the 
mountains,  which  always  thrilled  us.   For  example,  we  celebrated 
my  first  birthday  in  the  Valley  on  a  two  day  trip  to  Signal 


Packard:    Mountain  and  back.   We  drove  with  a  farmer  friend  and  his  family 
in  a  buckboard  wagon  drawn  by  a  team  of  horses.   We  camped  out 
at  the  foot  of  the  mountain  and  climbed  to  the  top  before  it 
got  too  hot  in  the  morning.   When  we  moved  onto  the  Experiment 
Farm  our  frequent  means  of  relaxation  was  to  drive  to  El  Centro, 
park  Clara  in  her  baby  buggy  in  the  prescription  department  of 
Duniway ' s  drugstore  which  joined  the  Open  House,  where  we 
went  to  the  movies. 

The  Holtville  fiesta  typified  the  spirit  of  the  time. 
It  was  organized  by  Phil  Brooks,  Dave  Williams,  and  other 
kindred  characters  who  owned  farms  on  the  east  side  of  the 
Valley,  or  were  in  the  real  estate  business  in  Holtville. 
Their  enthusiasm  and  energy  got  everyone  excited  about  the 
big  New  Year's  celebration.   The  program  was  planned  well  in 
advance.   Farmers  were  induced  to  donate  turkeys,  chickens, 
and  farm  products.   Farmer's  wives  and  women  in  town  baked 
pies  and  cakes.   Ten  to  twelve  thousand  attended  from  all  over 
the  Valley.   Some  brought  picnic  dinners  but  nearly  everyone 
got  all  they  could  eat  from  the  Fiesta  food  supply,  which 
included  barbecued  beef  and  lamb,  cooked  by  Vaughn  Azhderian, 
an  Armenian  farmer  who  was  our  neighbor  at  Meloland.   For 
some  days  before  the  Fiesta  each  year  we  would  see  "blanket 
stiffs"  making  their  way  past  the  Experiment  Farm  to  Holtville 
where  they  could  cache  enough  food  to  last  for  days.   A  very 
lively  rodeo  followed  the  dinner.   Dave  Williams  officiated. 
He  had  a  beautiful  Palomino  horse  and  silver-mounted  saddle 


Packard:    which,  with  his  big  sombrero,  made  quite  a  picture.   Texas 

cowboys  rode  bucking  horses,  roped  cattle,  and  put  on  a  great 

Another  event  of  a  somewhat  similar  character  was  the  annual 
barbecue  given  by  the  California-Mexican  Ranch  in  connection 
with  their  sale  of  horses  and  mules.   Walter  Bowker,  manager 
of  the  ranch,  was  a  colorful  character.   He  and  his  family 
lived  in  a  large  ranch  house  on  the  American  side  of  the 
border,  where  the  auctions  took  place. 

Baum:      This  was  an  affair  all  the  Valley  people  would  come  to? 

Packard:   Yes.   People  would  come  whether  they  wanted  to  buy  or  not. 

There  was  a  glamour  associated  with  the  big  Mexican  ranch  and 
the  barbecue  that  was  hard  to  ignore. 

There  were  a  good  many  interesting  characters  in  the 
Valley  at  that  time.   Harold  Bell  Wright  was  one  of  them. 
He  lived  about  a  mile  east  of  us.   He  had  quite  a  large  ranch, 
producing  horses  and  cotton.   And  he  had  a  very  practical 
ranch  type  home.   There  was  a  long  driveway  leading  to  the  house, 
which  was  set  back  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  from  the  main 
road.   The  driveway  was  lined  on  both  sides  with  red  Ragged 
Robin  roses,  which  were  very  beautiful  during  most  of  the 
season.   He  would  never  buy  an  automobile  but  he  had  two 
very  beautiful  driving  horses  and  a  very  fancy  buggy--a  phaeton. 
He  and  his  wife  would  drive  into  town  in  great  style  with 
liveried  coachmen  in  the  seat. 

Baum:      Was  Howard  Bell  Wright  primarily  a  rancher  or  a  writer? 


Packard:   He  was  both,  but  primarily  an  author.   He  was  a  good  rancher, too. 
He  raised  purebred  saddle  horses  and  specialized  on  cotton 

Baum:      It  seems  curious  for  someone  who  was  already  established  as 
a  writer  to  live  in  such  a  hot,  difficult  climate. 

Packard:    He  came  to  the  Valley  because  he  had  T.  B.  and  thought  the  dry 
climate  might  help.   He  finally  moved  to  Arizona,  which  was 
just  as  hot  and  dry,  but  where  he  avoided  the  annoyance  of  the 
fine  silt  dust  which  was  a  major  trial  for  Valley  people. 

The  last  time  we  saw  the  Harold  Bell  Wright  farm  was  in 
1956.   The  Ragged  Robin  roses  were  dead  and  the  ranch  house 
was  occupied  as  sleeping  quarters  by  Mexican  ranch  hands  working 
for  an  absentee  owner. 

The  Winning  of  Barbara  Worth  was  the  popular  novel  at  the 
time,  at  least  in  the  Valley  which  provided  the  setting.   The 
Barbara  Worth  hotel—by  far  the  best  hotel  in  the  Valley  until 
it  burned  down  in  1958--was  built  at  that  time. 

And  then  there  was  Fritz  Kloke  and  his  remarkable  wife. 
He  had  been  a  miner  in  Alaska,  where  they  met,  and  where  he 
had  accumulated  a  small  fortune.   Mrs.  Kloke,  whose  first 
husband  was  Captain  Dawson  of  Alaskan  fame,  was  the  first  woman 
to  go  down  the  White  Horse  Rapids  on  the  Yukon.   A  group  of 
men  were  going  down  the  river  on  a  raft  and  they  were  not  taking 
any  women.   But  Mrs.  Kloke  jumped  from  the  pier  onto  the  raft 
after  it  had  started  and  had  to  stay  on  the  rest  of  the  way  if 
she  could.   (  Laughter  )   She  was  a  terrific  character—homely 


Packard:    as  they  come.   She  had  lost  one  eye  and  never  had  the  empty 

socket  covered.   She  was  noted  for  wearing  large  "Merry  Widow" 
hats  decorated  with  large  ostrich  plumes.   The  Kloke  house  was 
a  veritable  Alaskan  museum  with  a  magnificent  white  polar 
bear  rug  in  the  living  room. 

Mr.  Kloke  opened  a  bank  in  Calexico  and  planted  pear 
trees  on  his  farm  a  short  distance  out  of  town.   Mrs.  Kloke 
was  a  great  gardener.   Her  flower  beds  were  by  far  the  best 
in  the  Valley.   She  was  very  community  minded  and  was  very 
active  as  a  civic  leader. 

Baum:      Was  the  pear  farm  successful?  I  didn't  know  pears  would  do 
well  in  such  a  hot  valLey. 

Packard:   You  are  right,  the  pear  orchard  was  not  a  success.   But  the 
bank  was  a  success,  and  the  Kloke s1  played  an  important  role 
in  Valley  affairs  as  long  as  they  lived. 

With  no  air  conditioning,  the  summer  heat  in  the  Valley 
was  too  much  for  Emma  and  our  two  little  girls.   So,  as  was 
the  custom,  Emma  would  take  the  children  to  the  Coronado 
beach  near  San  Diego  during  the  summer  while  I  would  remain 
on  the  farm,  driving  over  the  mountains  to  San  Diego  over 
the  weekends  when  I  could. 

On  one  of  the  trips  out  of  the  Valley,  our  Model  T  Ford 
was  loaded  to  capacity.   The  baby  bed  was  strapped  on  the  roof 
and  both  running  boards  were  loaded  with  a  variety  of  things. 
We  camped  out  that  night  near  Campo  at  the  cr^st  of  the  coast 
range  and  when  we  drove  into  San  Diego  the  ru-.<^  morning  we 


Packard:   were  mistaken  for  refugees  who  were  escaping  the  severe  earth 
quake  that  had  done  considerable  damage  in  the  Valley  that  night, 
Of  course,  unknown  to  us.   When  I  got  back  to  the  farm  a  day 
or  so  later,  two  dozen  glass  cans  of  apricots  which  Emma  had 
put  up  just  before  leaving  were  in  a  messy  pile  on  the  kitchen 

It  was  that  summer,  as  I  recall  it,  when  Emma  was  able  to 
get  Clara,  then  five  years  old,  into  Madame  Montessori's  class 
in  San  Diego.   She  had  come  over  from  Italy  to  promote  her 
particular  type  of  child  training.   Clara  was  not  impressed 
by  the  opportunity.   She  much  preferred  staying  on  the  beach 
playing  in  the  sand.   Various  means  of  training  were  used.   In 
one  class  designed  to  develop  poise,  Dr.  Montessori  walked  in 
a  dignified  way  along  a  straight  chalk  line  and  Clara  followed 
just  as  close  as  she  could  get  without  stepping  on  Madame 
Montessori's  heels. 



Mrs.    : 

Mrs.  Packard:   A  Stay  at  Dr.  Pottenger's  Tuberculosis  Sanatorium 

It  was  that  summer,  too,  when  we  found  that  Emma  had 
tuberculosis,  which  made  it  necessary  for  her  to  spend  a  year 
and  a  half  at  Dr.  Pottenger's  sanatorium  in  the  hills  above 
Monrovia.   Here  I  will  let  Emma  take  over. 

How  did  you  manage  to  leave  the  children  when  you  went  to  the 

That  was  our  biggest  problem,  of  course.   We  had  a  school  girl 
from  the  Meloland  school  who  lived  with  us  and  helped  with  the 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 

children  and  housework.   In  addition,  Walter  hired  a  housekeeper 
and  somehow  managed  to  "keep  the  home  fires  burning"  when  he 
took  the  children  back  after  the  summer  heat  had  let  up.   I 
give  him  enormous  credit  for  the  way  he  met  this  emergency. 
How  did  you  happen  to  go  to  Monrovia? 

I  had  suffered  severely  from  hay  fever  in  the  dust  of  Imperial 
Valley.   While  at  Coronado  Beach  for  the  summer,  I  went  to  a 
Dr.  Frances  Allen  in  San  Diego  to  get  help  for  that.   She  had 
had  T.  B.  herself,  so  she  recognized  the  symptoms  and  recom 
mended  Dr.  Pottenger  and  his  sanatorium  as  the  best  help  that 
I  could  get.   I  had  inherited  a  sum  of  money  from  my  father, 
which  made  the  expense  possible.   So  Walter  took  me  up  to 
Monrovia  in  September,  1915,  leaving  me  there,  while  he  took 
the  two  children  back  home  to  Imperial  Valley. 
What  was  the  method  of  treatment  at  that  time?  I  understand 
that  the  sanatorium  method  has  largely  been  discontinued  with 
the  discovery  of  streptomycin. 

At  that  time,  rest  in  bed  was  the  first  treatment.   Here,  I 
think  a  few  words  about  Dr.  Francis  Pottenger,  himself,  are  in 
order.   He  was  something  of  a  pioneer  in  T.  B.  treatment.   His 
first  wife  had  died  of  it  during  the  period  when  it  was  thought 
that  high  altitude  and  exercise  was  a  good  thing.  Many  went  to 
the  Southwest  for  the  dry  air  and  mild  climate,  or  to  Colorado 
for  the  altitude.   Dr.  Pottenger  specialized  in  the  study  of 
T.  B.  after  his  wife's  death  and  his  sanatorium  was  one  of 
three  in  the  U.S.  that  rated  as  tops  —  one  of  these  was  run  by 


Mrs .    : 


Mrs.    ; 


Mrs.    : 

the  famous  Dr.  Trudeau,  whose  sanatorium  was  at  Saranac  Lake, 
New  York.   In  being  a  pioneer,  Dr.  Pottenger  was  often  at  odds 
with  the  A.M. A.  and  was  something  of  an  experimenter  and  in 
novator  in  his  treatment.   Rest  in  bed  until  most  of  the  fever 
subsided  was  the  first  treatment.   In  addition  to  caring  for 
the  general  health  of  the  patient,  he  used  tuberculin  vaccine 
which  was  supposed  to  help  gain  immunity  to  fight  the  disease. 
How  did  he  keep  people  contented,  with  so  much  time  on  their 

It  was  said  that  Dr.  Pottenger 's  ability  to  keep  people  happy 
for  the  minimum  six  months  of  rest  was  the  main  secret  of  his 
success.   In  the  first  place,  he  immediately  became  "Father" 
to  all  patients  and  always  called  himself  that.   He  bantered 
and  joked  one  out  of  a  morning  grouch.   The  daily  routine 
actually  was  designed  to  keep  the  patient  busy--and  interrupted 
from  dull  thoughts. 

This  sounds  like  an  expensive  place  to  stay. 

In  relation  to  salaries,  I  suppose  it  was  above  regular  medical 
services  of  the  period.   But  I  paid  $35.00  a  week,  and  that 
included  absolutely  everything- -room,  board,  two  visits  from 
the  doctor  every  day,  a  nurse  always  on  call  by  bell,  all  medicines 
and  X-rays—nothing  was  "extra"  unless  you  needed  a  special 
nurse  which  most  people  did  not. 

Again,  Dr.  Pottenger  had  a  way  of  finding  out  the  interests 
of  patients  and  stimulating  their  mental  activities--Freud 


Mrs.    ; 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 

was  being  talked  of  a  great  deal  about  that  time.   Among  the 
books  in  the  sanatorium  library  I  found  one  called  The  Law 
of  Psychic  Phenomenon  by  Thomas  Jay  Hudson—which  seemed  too 
old  and  out  of  date—but  no,  "Father"  said  it  was  rather  a  basic 
history  of  the  development  of  psychology  and  worth  reading  — 
which  I  did  and  enjoyed,  and  have  always  followed  up  in  a 
general  way  as  new  ideas  along  the  lines  of  psychology  have 
been  presented. 

It  looks  as  though  sanatorium  life  was  made  as  pleasant  as 
a  summer  resort. 

Yes,  it  really  was  once  you  accepted  the  routine,  and  much 
entertainment  was  provided  for  patients  who  were  able  to  be 
up  many  hours  of  a  day.   Every  holiday  was  noted  on  the  menu 
with  appropriate  foods.   Visitors  were  allowed  after  4  p.m., 
but  there  was  no  strict  rule  about  this,  except  for  Rest  Hours, 
which  must  not  be  interrupted!   On  the  whole,  patients  adjusted 
happily  and  if  not,  they  usually  left,  on  advice  of  Dr.  Pottenger. 
"Father"  became  a  lifelong  friend  of  the  family  and  we  often 
consulted  him  by  letter.   However,  the  subjects  of  the  letters 
became  wide  and  varied  as  he  was  intensely  interested  in  the 
same  social  and  economic  problems  with  which  Walter  was  working. 
Did  you  stay  at  the  sanatorium  all  the  time  until  "cured"? 
They  did  not  call  it  a  "cure"  at  that  period—always  the  word 
used  was  "arrested"  case.   I  stayed  for  fifteen  months  the  first 
time  and  was  allowed  to  go  home  in  time  for  Christmas  of  1916 
where  I  spent  two  months  or  more.   About  April,  I  went  back 


Mrs.    :    to  the  sanatorium  for  a  couple  of  months  additional  "booster 

shots"  of  tuberculin.   By  that  time,  my  husband  had  accepted 

the  job  of  Assistant  State  Leader  of  Farm  Advisors  with  the 
University  of  California,  and  we  moved  to  Berkeley  during  the 
summer  of  1917,  to  a  house  at  2817  Piedmont  Avenue. 

I  should  also  state  before  leaving  this  subject,  that 
Dr.  Pottenger  examined  all  our  family  and  gave  the  usual 
tuberculin  tests.   Clara  spent  a  few  weeks  in  my  room  and  was 
given  tuberculin  as  a  cautionary  preventive  to  help  establish 
more  resistance  to  the  "bug".   She  has  not  had  any  trouble 
since.   Emmy  Lou,  being  younger,  had  some  infection  and  did 
not  thrive,  but  she  never  had  an  "open"  case.   When  she  was 
eight  years  old--the  year  we  went  to  Delhi--"Father"  was 
worried  about  her  and  thought  it  best  for  her  to  take  the 
rest  cure  at  the  sanatorium.   So  we  left  her  there  for  six  months 
and  she  came  back  looking  plump  and  rosy.   As  can  be  seen,  this 
was  an  important  period  in  the  lives  and  health  of  all  of  the 
family.   It  was  the  first  major  crisis  we  had  to  meet  and  we 
all  give  Dr.  Pottenger  full  credit  for  his  help  in  meeting  it. 
We  saw  him  many  times  during  the  years—at  home  with  his  wife} 
for  lunch>or  on  visits  to  the  sanatorium- -maybe  for  a  check-up 
after  a  number  of  years.   He  died  in  1961  at  the  age  of  91. 
He  was  the  author  of  several  medical  books  on  T.  B.  and  in 
1952  he  published  his  autobiography. 


Farming  Conditions 

Packard:        To  get  back  to  Imperial  Valley,  I  might  say  something 

about  the  character  of  the  farming  and  the  transitions  which 
took  place.   In  the  beginning  it  was  a  period  of  small  family- 
type  farms.   Many  of  the  farmers  were  original  homesteaders  and 
most  of  them  grew  grain,  alfalfa,  and  raised  livestock.   But 
the  climate  was  especially  adapted  to  the  production  of  early 
vegetables  and  specialty  crops.   A  few  skilled  and  well  fin 
anced  farmers  were  beginning  to  produce  and  ship  cantaloupes, 
onions,  and  cabbage  in  carload  lots.   It  was  not  long  before 
whole  train  loads  of  melons  left  the  Valley  for  Eastern  markets. 
But  even  on  these  specialized  farms  mules  and  horses  provided 
the  motive  power.   There  were  no  tractors. 

Two  very  contrasting  records  were  made  by  two  farmers 
in  the  Heber  area  which  I  think  are  worth  recording.  Mr. 
vJill  Fawcett  was  the  largest  cantaloupe  grower  in  the  early 
days.   He  had  a  320-acre  farm  which  was  beautifully  cared  for. 
The  Fawcetts  lived  on  the  farm  in  a  very  delightful  and  commodious 
tent  house  designed  to  minimize  the  discomfort  from  the  heat. 
He  used  mules  for  motive  power  and  employed  seasonal  labor 
during  planting  and  harvest.   He  was  a  very  successful  family 
farm  operator.   As  a  result  of  his  success  in  farming  he  became 
a  director  in  the  El  Centre  branch  of  the  Bank  of  America  and 
later  on,  a  director  in  Transamerica  which  led  to  dire  cir 
cumstances  during  the  great  depression.   When  talking  to 

69  a 

Packard:    Mr.  Fawcett  in  Los  Angeles  just  prior  to  the  1929  stock  market 
crash,  he  told  me  he  was  borrowing  all  he  could  from  the  bank 
to  buy  Transamerica  stock  which  he  knew  was  going  to  recover 
from  a  temporary  drop  in  value.   As  I  recall  it  the  stock  was 
then  selling  for  about  $20.00  per  share.   It  finally  reached 
a  low  of  $2.00  per  share  and  during  the  decline  the  bank  took 
everything  that  Mr.  Fawcett  owned,  including  his  home  and 
Cadillac  car. 

The  other  of  these  two  family  farm  operators  was  Mr.  Brock, 
who  ran  what  was  known  as  the  Date  Farm.   As  I  recall  it,  the 
farm  did  not  contain  more  than  forty  acres,  only  a  portion  of 
which  was  planted  to  dates.   He  stuck  to  farming,  gradually 
expanding  his  operations  in  various  places  in  the  Valley. 
He  was  one  of  the  first  to  use  tractors.   I  remember  offering 
him  a  job  in  the  Resettlement  Administration  in  1936.   But 
he  was  entirely  content  with  his  lot  as  a  farmer.   His  son 
now  owns  and  operates  the  most  highly  mechanized  commercial 
farms  in  the  Valley,  and  is  one  of  the  largest  users  of  Mexican 
braceros  in  the  state. 

Baum:      So  the  small  family  farm  went  right  out? 

Packard:    Yes,  as  a  controlling  factor.   Many  small  farms  remain  but  the 
big  commercial  operators  dominate  the  Valley  now. 

Baum:      I  wanted  to  ask  you  about  the  labor  on  the  farms  in  the  early 
days.   Where  did  they  get  their  labor?  You  say  the  farms  were 
mostly  family  farms  at  that  time. 

Packard:    Most  of  the  family  farms,  as  I  recall,  were  self-sufficient 



Mrs.    : 

Packard:    so  far  as  labor  was  concerned.   There  were  a  good  many  "blanket 
stiffs"  who  found  work  during  harvest  time.   The  main  employment 
was  associated  with  grape,  melon,  asparagus,  and  other  specialty 
crop  production.   Hundreds  of  experienced  packing-house  workers 
called  fruit  tramps  would  appear  at  the  beginning  of  the  harvest 
season  and  stay  till  the  harvest  work  ended.   Many  Japanese 
workers  were  employed  at  that  time. 

Wasn't  that  about  the  time  when  the  I.W.W.'s  were  riding  high? 
Yes.   There  was  an  I.'WiW.  camp  along  the  river  near  Holtville 
but  I  never  had  any  contact  with  them. 

The  "blanket  stiffs"  would  often  stop  in  for  something  to  eat 
on  their  way  between  El  Centre  and  Holtville.   We  were  told 
they  had  our  front  gate-post  marked  as  a  good  place  to  stop 
for  breakfast,  if  they  asked  for  work.   When  they  came  I  would 
give  them  some  odd  job  and  then  cook  some  eggs  and  bacon  for 
them.   This  type  of  labor  has  practically  disappeared  now. 
Most  of  the  workers  in  the  Valley  were  itinerants,  you  know. 

Baum:      Yes.   That's  what  I  wondered.   I  supposed  that  all  the  farmers 
needed  an  extra  man  now  and  then. 

Packard:    Yes.   But  when  it  came  to  cantaloupes  or  grapes  or  harvesting 
specialty  crops,  thousands  of  workers  would  come  in  from  Los 
Angeles.   Many  Mexican  families  lived  in  El  Centre  and  Calexico. 

Baum       Transient  American. . . 

Packard:    They  were   fruit  tramps  who  followed  the  harvest  season  every 


Baum:      And  always  enough  of  those  showed  up  at  the  time  you  needed 

Packard:    Yes. 

Baum:      I  suppose  they  knew  the  route  when  they  were  needed. 

Packard:  Yes.  They  never  had  much  labor  shortage.  People  would  come 
down  even  from  the  San  Joaquin  Valley  to  get  jobs  during  the 
seasonal  period  of  peak  demand. 

Baum:      What  kind  of  labor  did  you  use  on  the  Experiment  Farm? 

Packard:    We  had  one  steady  farm  hand  to  do  the  farm  work  and  occasionally 
employed  other  workers  on  special  jobs.   The  regular  man  lived 
in  a  small  house  built  for  the  purpose.   We  frequently  used  a 
Mexican  neighbor  for  odd  jobs.   He  lived  on  a  small  farm  about 
half  a  mile  down  the  road. 

The  big  change  in  employment  came  after  the  All  American 
canal  was  completed.   The  assurance  of  an  ample  supply  of  rel 
atively  clear  water  provided  the  conditions  under  which  large 
mechanized  farms  could  be  successfully  organized. 

Another  factor  which  influenced  the  character  of  agriculture 
in  the  Valley  was  a  letter  by  Ray  Lyman  Wilbur,  Secretary  of 
Interior,  under  President  Hoover,  which  exempted  Imperial 
Valley  from  the  restrictions  of  the  acreage  limitation  provision 
of  the  Reclamation  Act.   This  permitted  shippers  and  other 
commercial  operators  to  own  and  operate  any  amount  of  land. 
Big  mechanized  operations  grew  apace.   And  with  it  came  the 
demand  for  itinerant  farm  workers  and  the  growth  of  the  Bracero 
program  under  which  thousands  of  Mexican  workers  would  be 


Packard:    brought  in,  usually  under  the  guidance  and  control  of  labor 
contractors . 

The  transition  period  from  family  farms  to  corporate  farming 
came  during  the  beginning  of  the  great  depression  when  thousands 
of  families  from  the  Dust  Bowl  came  to  California  looking 
for  work.   They  camped  on  ditch  banks  and  in  slum  areas  bordering 
the  town.   Imperial  Valley  was  often  the  first  stop.   As  un 
organized,  propertyless ,  and  disfranchised  workers,  they  were 
exploited  by  the  large  farm  operators,  and  considerable 
antagonism  developed  between  the  two  groups. 

Later  on  I  got  a  touch  of  the  intensity  of  feeling  on 
both  sides.   On  one  occasion,  when  I  was  National  Director 
of  the  Rural  Resettlement  Division,  I  had  stopped  in  the 
Valley  on  my  way  from  Washington  to  Berkeley  to  find  out 
what  I  could  about  the  difficulty  which  the  Berkeley  office 
was  having  in  getting  a  labor  camp  established  in  Brawley. 
I  met  with  the  secretary  of  the  Valley-wide  Chamber  of  Commerce, 
whom  I  knew.   He  told  me  that  every  Chamber  of  Commerce  in 
the  Valley  had  gone  on  record  against  the  camp  program.   vlhen 
I  asked  him  whether  or  not  he  had  taken  a  vote  among  the  farm 
workers  who  would  benefit  by  the  program,  he  could  hardly 
understand  what  I  was  talking  about.   I  explained  that  I  was 
there  in  the  interests  of  the  workers  and  was  not  so  much 
concerned  about  what  the  Chamber  of  Commerce  thought.   The  camp 
was  established  but  not  until  after  one  of  the  County  officials 
had  threatened  to  burn  the  camp  down  if  we  went  ahead.   The 


Packard:    camps  improved  conditions  by  providing  clean  camping  places, 
hot  and  cold  running  water,  toilet  facilities,  shower  baths, 
facilities  for  washing  clothes,  and  places  to  keep  children 
under  proper  supervision  and  care  when  the  parents  were  in  the 
fields.   But  in  spite  of  these  improvements  the  camps  were 
far  from  adequate.   But  this  is  getting  ahead  of  my  story. 

Establishing  the  Imperial  Valley  Agricultural  Experiment  Station 
University  of  California 

Baum:      Now,  Mr.  Packard,  your  job  was  to  determine  whether  an  experi 
ment  station  would  be  a  feasible  thing  there,  is  that  right? 
Or  a  good  idea? 

Packard:    Well,  yes.   My  job  was,  first,  to  determine  what  the  Conditions 
were  relating  to  climate,  water,  soils,  and  so  on.   And  to  find 
out  whether  or  not  an  experimental  station  would  be  desirable 
and  useful  to  the  settlers  who  were  just  coming  in.   The  leg 
islature  had  made  an  appropriation  of  $6,000  to  finance  a  two- 
year  study  of  this  kind. 

I  had  to  get  around  the  Valley  by  horse  and  buggy  the  first 
year.   Then  the  University  bought  a  motorcycle  for  my  use. 
I  remember  riding  out  to  the  asparagus   farm  belonging  to  an 
attorney  in  Imperial.   I  met  the  manager  at  the  watering 
trough.   He  dipped  out  a  bucket  of  water  and  poured  it  over 
himself  from  head  to  foot,  then  refilled  the  bucket  and  handed 
it  to  me.   I  followed  his  example.   I  was  completely  dry  riding 
through  the  sun,  before  I  reached  town.   When  we  moved 


Packard:    to  the  Experiment  Farm  I  was  given  my  first  Model  T  Ford.   I 
drove  it  back  from  Berkeley,  making  Los  Angeles  by  the  valley 
route  in  three  days.   None  of  the  Imperial  Valley  roads  were 
paved.   Levees  were  built  in  the  middle  and  on  both  sides  of 
the  dirt  roads.   While  one  side  was  being  flooded  traffic  would 
drive  on  the  other  dry  side,  which  helped  to  keep  down  the 
dust . 

Baum:      Did  you  put  out  any  plots  yourself  or  did  you  just  go  around 
and  check  what  people  were  doing? 

Packard:   We  planted  a  few  hundred  date  seeds  of  superior  varieties 

which  Dr.  Coit  had  gathered  when  he  was  working  in  Arizona. 
When  the  date  palms  were  two  years  old  we  distributed  them  to 
farmers  who  expressed  interest  in  growing  dates.   I  helped 
organize  a  date  growers  association  but  date  growing  never 
took  hold  in  Imperial  Valley  as  it  did  in  Coachella  Valley. 

My  principal  activity  was  in  getting  acquainted  with 
conditions,  interviewing  farmers,  testing  soils,  observing 
results  of  various  farm  practices  and  the  like.   In  making 
these  studies  I  worked  with  various  professors  of  the 
University  who  would  come  down  on  special  jobs,  but  mostly 
with  J.  Eliot   Coit  who  was  a  man  who  had  lived  in  Arizona 
and  was  familiar  with  the  climatic  conditions  in  the  Imperial 
Valley.   We  prepared  a  "Settlers'  Crop  Manual"  together,  giving 
advice  to  settlers,  discussing  the  water  problems  and  the  soil 
problems,  the  problems  of  climate,  then  listing  the  crops  that 
could  be  grown,  when  the  time  was  to  plant  and  the  time  to 
harvest—everything  that  would  be  of  use  to  settlers,  including 


Packard:    a  discussion  of  their  financial  problems  and  all  that. 

Baum:      This  was  a  State  of  California  publication?   Or  was  it  the 
University  of  California? 

Packard:    It  was  published  in  1911  by  the  College  of  Agriculture  of  the 
University  of  California.   I  handled  the  parts  dealing  with 
soils,  water,  and  economics,  while  Dr.  Coit  handled  every 
thing  dealing  with  crops,  climate,  planting  and  harvestime, 
varieties,  etc. 

This  report  was  followed,  six  years  later,  by  a  bulletin 
entitled  "Agriculture  in  Imperial  Valley--a  Manual  for  Farmers" 
in  which  I  brought  the  earlier  report  up  to  date. 

Baum:      Before  you  even  turned  in  your  investigation,  it  sounds  like 
you  thought  they'd  build  an  experiment  station. 

Packard:    Yes,  it  seemed  desirable.   My  main  job  during  the  end  of  the 
two  year  period  was  to  select  a  good  location  for  the  pro 
posed  experiment  farm  because  it  seemed  perfectly  obvious  to 
everyone  that  a  station  should  be  established.   I  examined 
several  locations--determing  the  salt  content,  the  character 
of  the  surface  and  subsoils--and ,  in  general,  trying  to  select 
land  that  was  as  representative  as  possible. 

A  forty  acre  piece  of  land  was  finally  decided  on.   It 
was  located  near  the  center  of  the  Valley  at  a  railroad  stop 
called  Meloland,  about  halfway  between  El  Centre  and  Holtville. 

Baum:      Would  you  have  stayed  in  El  Centre  if  they  had  decided  against 

an  experiment  station?   If  they  cancelled,  would  you  have  stayed 
there  as  a  settler? 


Packard:    Oh,  no. 

Baum:      You  didn't  intend  to  be  a  farmer?  You  were  a  research  man. 

Packard:    I  was  with  the  University  and  I  did  not  intend  to  farm,  although 
I,  very  foolishly,  was  caught  up  in  the  pioneer  spirit  of  the 
place  and  after  moving  to  the  Experiment  Farm  I  traded  our 
house  in  El  Centre  for  an  undeveloped  piece  of  desert  land  some 
miles  south  of  Holtville  in  an  area  which  I  thought  would  be  pros 
perous  because  of   the  fine  character  of  the  soil.   The  University 
should  never  have  allowed  me  to  do  this,  but  it  did  give  me 
a  first  hand  knowledge  of  the  financial  problems  a  settler 
faced  in  trying  to  put  desert  land  under  cultivation. 

Baum:      Maybe  it  made  you  a  better  man  to  represent  the  settler. 

Packard:    Perhaps  so.   But  it  was  a  sad  experience.   But  to  get  back  to 
the  Experiment  Farm.   Since  it  was  difficult  for  me  to  super 
vise  the  building  and  to  get  things  started  on  the  farm  while 
living  in  El  Centre,  Emma  and  I,  with  little  Clara,  moved  out 
to  the  Phil  Brooks  ranch  which  was  just  across  the  road  and 
ditch  from  the  Experiment  Farm.   It  was  an  alfalfa  ranch  where 
hay  and  pasture  were  sold  to  Texas  cattle  feeders  during  the 
winter.   The  house  was  quite  spacious  with  the  kitchen  and 
dining  room  joined  in  one  big  room  ruled  over  by  Albert  the 
cook.   He  was  a  colorful  character  who  claimed  to  be  the  son 
of  a  judge.   He  said  that  alcohol  had  been  his  downfall  and 
that  he  had  accepted  the  job  on  the  ranch  in  the  hope  that 
he  could  avoid  temptation.   He  had  been  a  drummer  in  a  Salvation 
Army  band  at  one  time.   Beside  Albert,  there  was  Herman  the 


Packard:    Dutchman,  and  Johnny  the  Greek  who  were  mule  skinners  on  the 
Brooks  ranch.   Vaughn  Azhderian,  the  Armenian,  was  a  frequent 
visitor  while  Louis  the  Frenchman,  who  worked  for  me  on  the 
Experiment  Farm,  was  also  a  member  of  the  Brooks  ranch  family. 
He  went  to  France  one  month  to  marry  a  boyhood  sweetheart 
he  knew  in  Tahiti_  where  they  were  born. 

Baum:      It  sounds  like  a  little  international  house. 

Packard:    It  seemed  so  to  us.   I  shall  never  forget  the  sight  of  Herman, 
Johnny  and  Louis  carrying  a  bucket  of  hot  water  and  other 
equipment  out  to  Albert's  shack  when  he  was  sick  and  needed 
a  bath.   Louis  carried  the  washtub  which  he  used  as  a  drum 
while  they  all  sang  "Onward  Christian  Soldiers"  on  their  way 
to  Albert's  shack.   Albert  survived.   But  he  couldn't  take 
the  humiliation  he  felt  one  time  when  Dean  Wickson  and  his  very 
British  secretary,  Mr.  Henderson,  a  man  of  very  proper  manners, 
came  for  lunch.   Albert  had  been  looking  forward  to  this  oc 
casion  with  some  excitement.   But  to  our  surprise  and  his 
disgust,  two  Texans  rode  in  that  noon  to  tend  to  their  cattle, 
then  on  the  ranch.   vie,  of  course,  invited  them  to  dinner. 
This  was  just  too  much  for  Albert,  whose  one  chicken  would  not 
go  around  and  who  would  not  be  able  to  sit  at  the  table  as  he 
was  used  to  doing.   tfhat  was  more,  Herman  the  Dutchman  had  very 
bad  table  manners  which  embarrassed  both  Albert  and  Louis  the 
Frenchman.   Dean  Wickson  and  Mr.  Henderson  took  it  all  in  the 
best  of  humor. 

Baum:      And  what  did  Albert  do? 


Packard:    Right  in  the  middle  of  the  meal  Albert  went  to  the  phone  at 
one  end  of  the  room  where  everyone  could  hear  and  hollered 
at  the  operator  saying,  "Get  me  Taggert's  Pool  Hall."  When 
he  got  the  connection  he  said,  "I  want  you  to  send  another  cook 
out  to  the  Brooks  ranch--!  can't  stand  this  job  any  longer." 
(  Laughter  )   This  was  the  end  of  Albert. 

Johnny  Zenos  (the  Greek)  ended  up  as  one  :of  the  larger 
grower-shippers  of  carrots  and  made  a  comfortable  fortune. 
Louis  was  killed  in  the  First  World  War  fighting  for  France. 
Vaughn  Azhderian  became  an  important  melon  and  grape  grower- 
shipper  in  the  Turlock  district.   I  do  not  know  what  happened 
to  Herman. 

Experimental  Work  and  Farmer  Education 
Experimental  Work 

Baum:      What  sort  of  projects  did  you  work  on  at  the  Experiment  Station? 

Packard:        The  work  on  the  Experiment  Farm  was  really  directed  by 
the  heads  of  the  various  departments  at  the  University. 
Professor  Frederic  Bioletti  was  in  charge  of  viticultural  work. 
Professor  Charles  Shaw,  who  was  head  of  the  Agronomy  Division, 
was  in  charge  of  all  field  crops.   Dr.  J.   Eliot   Coit,*with 
whom  I  had  worked  before,  directed  everything  dealing  with 
the  growing  of  deciduous  fruits.   Dr.  Charles  W.  Woodworth, 
the  bearded  chief  of  the  Entomology  Department,  was  a  frequent 
visitor  because  insects  of  various  sorts  caused  lots  of  damage. 

*  See  Coit,  John  Eliot,  "Some  Recollections  of  California  Ag 
riculture,"  1962,  p.  46.   Typescript  of  interview  conducted  for 
Oral  History  Office,  University  of  California  at  Los  Angeles. 


Packard:    He  was  the  only  one  who  would  not  bow  to  the  Valley  climate. 
He  always  wore  a  black  suit  and  his  long  underwear  while  I 
sweltered  in  the  meagerest  outfit  I  could  get. 

There  was  a  U.S.  Government  Date  Experiment  Farm  at 
Indio  at  that  time. 

Baum:      The  Indio  Experiment  Farm  was  already  established  long  before 
the  California  one. 

Packard:    Yes.   We  got  our  date  offshoots  from  the  Indio  Experiment 

Station.   But  my  principal  service  in  the  Valley  was  not  on 
the  Experiment  Farm  itself;  it  was  very  largely  in  dealing 
with  farmers  and  trying  to  meet  the  problems  that  they  had. 
For  example,  there  was  a  big  infestation  of  yellow  butterflies 
on  alfalfa.   They  laid  eggs  which  presently  became  caterpillars 
which  caused  great  damage  to  very  large  areas  of  alfalfa. 
An  entymologist ,  Bridwell,  sent  to  the  Valley  by  the  U.S. 
Department  of  Agriculture  worked  with  me  in  developing  means 
of  control,  under  the  direction  of  Professor  Woodworth. 
Another  time  grasshoppers  were  a  great  menace.   In  that  case 
we  prepared  a  large  quantity  of  poisoned  bran  which  was  dis 
tributed  to  farmers  for  scattering  in  the  fields  to  kill  the 
grasshoppers . 

He  also  developed  a  mechanical  trap  that  could  be  dragged 
through  the  fields  and  catch  grasshoppers  by  the  barrel  full. 
They'd  fly  up,  hit  the  smooth  tin  surface  of  the  trap,  and  fall 
into  the  heavy  oil  at  the  bottom.   We  would  load  this  trap  on 
a  wagon  and  take  it  to  farms  where  the  problem  was  bad  and 


Packard:    use  our  horses  in  dragging  it  through  the  alfalfa  fields. 

Hogs  were  an  important  product  in  the  Valley  at  that  time. 
And  hog  cholera  was  one  of  the  things  that  caused  a  great  deal 
of  loss.   And  as  a  result,  the  University  employed  Dr.  Walter 
J.  Taylor,  a  veterinarian,  to  come  to  the  Experiment  Farm 
and  to  work  with  farmers  in  vaccinating  against  cholera.   And 
we  had  a  supply  of  serum  on  the  farm  and  the  farmers  would  come 
to  the  Experiment  Station  and  get  the  serum  and  then,  where 
necessary,  Dr.  Taylor  would  go  out  to  the  farm  and  show  them 
how  to  do  the  innoculation.   Occasionally  I  would  go  out  and 
do  it  myself.   Of  course,  at  all  the  farm  institutes  we  always 
demonstrated  things  of  that  kind,  as  well. 

Baum:      I  suppose  alfalfa  was  the  big  feed  crop. 

Packard:    Oh,  yes.   Dairy  and  cattle  fattening  for  beef... 

Baum:      Oh,  they  had  dairy,  too. 

Packard:    Oh,  yes,  they  had  dairy  cows. 

Baum:      I  thought  dairy  cows  didn't  do  so  well  in  hot  weather. 

Packard:    They  don't  do  too  well  in  the  hot  weather  but  they  did  have 
dairy  farms.   And  they  were  rather  successful.   And  they  had 
a  number  of  cooperative  dairies,  creameries  that  were  organized. 
But  times  have  changed,  today  the  Valley  supplies  much  of  the 
alfalfa  hay  used  on  commercial  dairy  farms  in  Los  Angeles  County. 

In  1917  I  prepared  a  report  on  "Irrigation  of  Alfalfa  in 
Imperial  Valley"  based  on  a  study  of  root  development  of 
alfalfa  on  different  soil  types  and  varying  water  conditions. 
It  was  published  as  Bulletin  294. 


Packard:        Cotton  was  introduced  as  a  commercial  crop  soon  after 
my  arrival.   There  were  many  settlers  from  Texas  who  were 
experienced  cotton  growers.   The  U.S.  Department  of  Agriculture 
introduced  a  variety  of  cotton  from  Durango,  Mexico,  which, 
fQr  a  time  seemed  to  have  wonderful  possibilities.   A  cotton 
seed  mill  was  established  in  El  Centre  and  cotton  gins  began 
to  appear  wherever  cotton  became  an  important  crop.   I  was 
sent,  by  the  University,  on  a  trip  through  the  cotton  growing 
regions  of  Mississippi,  to  study  the  techniques  of  cotton 
growing  in  the  rich  Delta  areas.   Later  on  I  addressed  the  annual 
meeting  of  the  National  Association  of  Cotton  Manufacturers 
in  Boston.   My  paper  on  "The  New  Cotton  Fields  of  the  Southwest" 
was  published  by  the  Association. 

One  phase  of  my  work  involved  a  study  of  ground  water 
conditions  in  different  parts  of  the  Valley.   One  incident 
stands  out  in  my  memory.   I  found  very  salty  ground  water 
standing  about  fifteen  feet  below  the  surface  in  a  very  sandy 
area  north  of  Holtville.   At  a  meeting  of  the  Farm  Bureau  center 
that  night  I  warned  of  the  danger  of  a  rise  of  the  water  table 
and  the  concentration  of  salts  on  the  ground  surface.   I  was 
told  later  that  the  farmers  had  a  good  laugh  at  what  I  said 
after  I  left.   After  all,  didn't  everyone  know  that  the  soils 
of  the  Valley  were  hundreds  of  feet  deep.   But  three  years 
later  one  of  the  farmers  in  the  area  stopped  by  to  say  good 
bye.   He  had  all  of  his  belongings  piled  on  his  hay  rack  and 
was  headed  out.   With  tears  in  his  eyes  he  said  that  he  had 

*  "The  New  Cotton  Fields  of  the  Southwest,"  published  by 
Boston  Cotton  Growers  Association. 


Packard:    come  into  the  Valley  with  $45,000.00  and  was  leaving  with  his 
family  and  no  capital  at  all.   A  rising  water  table  and  salt 
had  ruined  his  farm. 

Farm  Institutes 

Packard:        Prior  to  the  organization  of  the  present  Agricultural 

Extension  Service,  Farm  Institutes  were  held  each  year.   Mr. 
J.  B.  Neff,  a  walnut  grower  near  Anaheim,  directed  the  Farm 
Institute  in  Southern  California.   He  would  come  down  to  Imperial 
Valley  once  a  year  and  we  would  organize  meetings  in  El  Centre, 
Imperial,  Brawley  and  other  towns.   And  we'd  have  discussions 
of  problems  that  concerned  the  farmers  in  the  area. 

Professor  Warren  Clark  was  the  State  Director  of  the 
Farmer  Institute  work  at  that  time.   He  was  a  very  devoted  and 
effective  representative  of  the  College  of  Agriculture.   Besides 
running  the  Farmer's  Institute  program,  Professor  Clark  carried 
the  University  specialists  to  the  farmers  by  means  of  the 
Demonstration  Train  which  covered  the  state  from  the  Oregon 
line  to  the  Mexican  border.   The  train  carried  several  cars 
containing  exhibits  arranged  and  supervised  by  department 
representatives  who  lived  together  in  a  Pullman  car  and  were 
overfed  in  a  regular  diner  attached  to  the  train. 

Emma  and  I  were  invited  to  go  on  a  number  of  trips--! 
representing  the  Irrigation  Engineering  Division  of  the  Univer- 
sity.and  Emma  helping  Mrs.  Clark  in  demonstrating  the  use  of 


Packard:    a  fireless  cooker  which  were  quite  the  rage  in  the  hot  Valley 

areas.   The  fireless  cooker  was  particularly  popular  on  Imperial 
Valley  farms.   The  train  schedule  was  well  advertised  in  advance. 
It  would  stop  at  towns  long  enough  to  let  everyone  get  a  good 
view  of  the  exhibits  and  to  discuss  problems  with  the  specialists. 

Work  with  Frank  Veihmeyer 

Packard:        Frank  Veihmeyer,  now  an  honored  retired  Professor  at 
Davis,  came  to  the  Valley  with  his  wife  about  1913  to  work 
on  the  technical  relationships  of  soil  and  water,  a  field  in 
which  much  work  was  needed  and  in  which  he  now  has  become  a 
recognized  world  leader.   He  came  as  an  employee  of  the  U.S. 
Department  of  Agriculture,  but  transfered  to  the  University  of 
California  after  receiving  his  doctor's  degree.   Some  of  his 
research  work  was  carried  out  on  the  Experiment  Farm,  but  most 
of  it  involved  soil  examinations  on  farms  in  various  parts  of 
the  Valley. 

At  one  time  Veihmeyer  and  I  were  authorized  to  make  a  trip 
over  the  desert  area  lying  between  the  west  side  highline 
canal  and  the  mountains  in  an  effort  to  locate  various  wells 
that  were  supposed  to  exist  in  the  area  and  to  test  the  water. 
We  enlisted  the  help  of  Mr.  Richards,  a  neighbor  of  ours  at 
Meloland.   We  loaded  his  wagon  with  blankets,  grub,  utensils 
and  barrels  of  water,  and  hay  for  the  four  horses.   We  were 
gone  several  days  and  were  able  to  locate  most  of  the  wells 


Packard:    we  were  looking  for.   All  but  one  were  in  uninhabited  dry 

desert  areas.   There  was  a  shack  at  one  well.   When  we  drove 
up  no  one  appeared.   When  we  knocked  at  the  door  a  gruff  voice 
said,  "What  do  you  want?"  Opening  the  door  a  crack,  he  said 
the  well  was  about  100  yards  farther  on.   We  conjectured 
that  the  character  in  the  shack  may  have  been  a  fugitive  from 
justice.   We  replenished  our  water  supply  and  drove  on. 
Baum:      These  were  wells  that  were  built  for  some  farm  but  were  no 

longer  in  use? 
Packard:    No.   They  had  no  use.   They  may  have  been  dug  by  the  government, 

during  some  early  survey. 
Baum:       It  sounds  like  you  and  Frank  Veihmeyer  had  a  lot  of  adventures 


Packard:    We  did.   We  had  a  lot  of  interesting  times  together,  including 
pleasure  trips  with  the  two  families  into  both  the  desert 
and  the  mountains—as  well  as  at  least  one  summer  vacation 
at  Coronado  Beach. 

On  another  occasion  Frank  and  I  carried  out  a  mission  for 
Frank  Adams  which  may  be  worth  recording.   The  river  was  at 
flood  stage  and  had  broken  through  the  levees  on  both  sides 
of  the  river  above  Yuma.   Our  job  was  to  get  a  sample  of  water 
as  near  the  center  of  the  river  as  possible,  in  an  effort  to 
determine  the  quantity  of  silt  being  carried  by  the  river 
during  floods.   Frank  and  I,  with  Surieh,  an  Egyptian  assistant 
of  mine  on  the  Experiment  Farm,  started  out  one  afternoon 
expecting  to  reach  Yuma  before  dark.   But  a  wind  storm  was 


Packard:     on  and  the  two  plank  roads  over  the  sand  hills  were  completely 
covered  at  frequent  intervals  with  drifting  sand.   We  bucked 
our  way  through  drift  after  drift,  taking  turns  driving  the 
Model  T  Ford.   We  found  a  two-by-twelve-by-twelve  foot  plank 
which  we  used  as  a  pry,  putting  it  crossways  on  the  car  each 
time  we  reached  clear  going  on  the  two  plank  roads.   We  were 
nearing  the  end  of  the  sand  dune  country  about  2  a.m.  when 
we  got  stuck  again.   I  was  driving  and  Frank  and  Surieh  were 
pushing  on  either  side  of  the  car.   When  the  wheels  finally 
took  hold.  Veihmeyer  forgot  to  jump  back  on  the  running  board 
so  was  hit  on  the  back  of  his  head  by  the  plank.   Not  knowing 
that  anything  had  happened  I  drove  ahead  a  little  ways  before 
I  missed  Veihmeyer.   Surieh  and  I  walked  back  and  found 
Veihmeyer  coming  along  holding  his  head.   When  he  reached  us^ 
his  head  was  aching  and  we  were  all  too  exhausted  to  proceed 
so  we  camped  out  for  the  rest  of  the  night. 

When  we  reached  the  flood  plain  of  the  river  we  found 
that  the  railway  embankment  was  washed  out  at  two  places, 
leaving  the  rails,  with  ties  attached,  the  only  passage  over 
the  open  cuts  with  brown  water  swirling  through.   So  we  parked 
the  car,  took  our  water  containers  and  other  equipment,  walked 
across  the  ties  and  got  our  water  samples  from  the  Yuma  bridge, 
returning  as  we  had  come.   The  lower  part  of  Yuma  was  flooded. 
The  walls  of  adobe  buildings  were  being  softened  by  the 
water  and  gradually  sinking  into  a  pile  of  mud,  mixed  with 
what  the  occupants  could  not  get  out  in  time. 


A  Russian  Soil  Scientist  Visits  the  Experiment  Farm 

Packard:        We  had  a  number  of  interesting  visitors.   Notable  among 
them  was  a  Russian  soil  scientist  who  came  to  the  Valley  to 
collect  soil  samples  to  take  back  to  Russia  as  permanent  exhibits 
He  was  very  thorough  in  his  work.   He  had  five  foot  holes  dug 
in  different  soil  types  and  then  proceeded  to  carve  out  a 
sample  about  ten  inches  wide  and  six  inches  deep.   He  then 
built  heavy  boxes  to  fit  the  samples  perfectly,  cut  the  sample 
loose,  and  put  on  a  cover  for  shipment  to  Moscow.   Charles 
Shaw,  then  head  of  the  Soils  Department  in  Berkeley,  told  me 
years  later  that  he  had  seen  the  samples  in  Russia. 

He  proved  to  be  a  very  interesting  character.   He  insisted 
on  staying  with  us  on  the  farm.   We  had  no  room  for  him  and 
suggested  that  he  stay  in  the  hotel  in  El  Centre.   But  he 
was  adamant ,  so  we  put  a  cot  on  the  porch  and  had  him  for 
meals . 

Baum:       It  doesn't  sound  like  your  house  was  large  enough  to  offer 
hospitality  very  easily. 

Packard:    We  managed  quite  all  right.   He  regaled  us  with  stories  of 
his  experiences  as  a  revolutionary  in  Russia.   He  had  spent 
long  terms  in  prison  and  had  been  sent  to  Siberia  at  one  time. 
He  would  get  up  from  his  chair  excitedly  and  crouch  behind  it 
pretending  that  the  rungs  were  prison  bars  and  then  act  out 
a  part.   He  explained  how  they  exchanged  tapped  out  messages 


Packard:    by  tapping  on  the  bars.   He  was  very  sure  that  a  violent  revol 
ution  would  break  out  soon.   But  he  was  in  a  terrible  fix. 
He  had  taken  the  motor  car  on  the  railroad  from  El  Centre  and 
walked  over  to  the  farm  without  paying  any  attention  to  his 
baggage.   When  we  asked  him  where  his  luggage  was  he  suddenly 
woke  up  and  ran  out  to  the  tracks  where  he  had  seen  the  conductor 
dump  his  stuff.   But  there  was  no  sign  of  it  anywhere.   We 
phoned  the  sheriff  and  the  railroad  office  but  without  results. 
Everything  the  poor  fellow  had  was  in  that  luggage—his  passport, 
money,  notes  of  his  trip  and  the  like.   Finally  when  he  had 
finished  his  work,  he  got  some  help  from  his  embassy  in 
Washington,  and  departed.   Meanwhile  the  Russian  Revolution  had 
broken  out  and  our  friend  was  frantic.   Not  more  than  two  or 
three  days  later  we  were  visiting  the  Harold  Bell  Wrights 
and  found  the  Russian's  luggage  in  the  barn.   Wright  had 
expected  a  guest  and  had  sent  his  man  to  the  station  to  pick  him 
up.   The  guest  was  not  on  the  train  but  there  was  his  luggage, 
supposedly.   So  he  took  it  and  for  some  reason  the  Wrights 
were  never  disturbed  by  the  fact  that  they  had  no  idea  who 
owned  the  stuff.   I  reached  our  Russian  friend  at  some  point 
in  the  south  and  sent  the  baggage  to  him. 

Baum:       Don't  you  remember  his  name? 

Packard:     No  I  don't,  and  I  don't  know  how  I  could  find  out.   I  certainly 
wish  I  knew. 


Water  Distribution:   The  Imperial  Valley  Irrigation  District 
and  the  All  American  Canal 

Packard:        Water  was,  of  course,  the  lifeblood.  of  the  valley.   The 

disastrous  break  in  the  course  of  the  river  in  1906  had  hastened 
the  bankruptcy  of  the  original  development  company,  which 
went  into  receivership.   Col.  Holabird,  the  court  appointed 
receiver,  operated  the  system  until  the  present  Imperial 
Irrigation  District  was  organized. 

Baum:       So  the  irrigation  district  took  over. 

Packard:    Yes.   The  district  was  organized.   I  was  quite  active  in  sup 
porting  this  move,  which  transferred  control  from  the  receiver 
ship  to  the  farmers  and  townspeople  of  the  Valley.   The  new 
district  faced  the  same  serious  water  problem  that  had  caused 
trouble  from  the  beginning.   Getting  rid  of  the  silt  in  the 
canals  was  expensive  and  was  constantly  raising  the  ditch  banks. 
Danger  of  another  breakthrough  still  existed  and  besides  there 
was  always  danger  of  a  water  shortage  because  the  flow  of  the 
Colorado  river  was  not  controlled.   Damaging  floods  would  be 
followed  by  low  flow  not  adequate  to  the  irrigation  needs. 
The  irrigation  district  had  two  sources  of  income  from 
the  use  of  water.   One  was  a  charge  on  land  value  to  meet 
the  bond  debt.   The  other  was  a  charge  for  the  water  used. 

Baum:       Well,  that  was  the  Henry  George  idea. 

Packard:     Oh  yes,  sure.   And  it  worked  well.   Under  these  conditions 
it  was  not  profitable  to  hold  land  out  of  use  because  the 


Packard:     land  tax  would  pile  up  with  no  income  to  meet  it.   I  found 

this  out  myself  by  buying  undeveloped  land  in  the  hope  of  making 
something  on  the  rise  in  land  values.   Development  costs  and 
no  income  to  pay  the  land  tax  soon  ate  up  any  possible  profits. 
It  was  a  sad  but  effective  lesson. 

Baum:  It  got  rid  of  your  absentee  landholding. 
Packard:  Yes.  But  I  got  my  lesson  early  in  that. 
Baum:  Did  the  irrigation  district  work  well?  Did  the  farmers  get 

along  with  each  other? 

Packard:     Oh  yes.   It  worked  very  well.   They  hired  a  very  good  engineer 
and  a  very  good  manager  and  elected  the  best  farmers  for 
directors  of  the  irrigation  district.   So  the  election  of 
directors  of  the  irrigation  District  was  a  serious  political 
issue  in  the  Valley. 

Baum:       I  wanted  to  ask  about  the  irrigation  system.   You  had  the  water 
from  the  Colorado  River.   Was  there  adequate  water  and  was  it 
distributed  satisfactorily? 

Packard:     The  answer  at  that  time  was  no.   That  whole  problem  interested 
me  more  than  any  other.   I  became  chairman  of  the  Imperial 
Valley  Water  Committee,  which  arranged  for  a  detailed  study 
of  the  All  American  canal  which  had  been  proposed  as  a  means 
of  avoiding  complications  with  Mexico  and  of  desilting  the 
water.   ElK)wood  Mead,  then  with  the  University,  made  a  report 
to  the  Committee  disapproving  the  proposal  but  later  changed 
his  mind  and  came  out  as  a  strong  advocate. 

Since  it  would  be  necessary  to  get  the  U.S.  Bureau  of 


Packard:     Reclamation  interested  if  the  All  American  canal  was  to  be 
built,  I  and  two  other  members  of  the  Committee  went  to  El 
Paso  to  meet  with  the  Reclamation  Commission  then  holding  a 
session  there.   We  succeeded  in  getting  the  key  men  in  the 
Commission,  including  A. P.  Davis,  the  Reclamation  head,  to 
come  to  El  Centre  and  Yuma  to  discuss  the  problem  and  the 
possibilities  at  mass  meetings  in  both  towns.   Two  years 
after  I  had  moved  to  Berkeley  I  was  sent  to  Washington  by 
the  Board  of  Supervisors  of  Imperial  County  to  promote  the 
program.   To  make  a  long  story  short  the  All  American  canal 
project  was  approved  and  surveys  were  begun  on  the  Boulder 
Dam  canyon  project  to  determine  the  feasibility  of  building 
a  dam  to  store  water  and  reduce  the  flood  damage. 

An  interesting  incident  occurred  in  connection  with  the 
first  reconnaissance  survey  of  the  All  American  route.   I 
accompanied  the  group  on  horseback.   The  heavy  wagon  full  of 
equipment  was  pulled  by  four  horses.   We  planned  to  camp  at 
a  county  well  but  were  caught  in  a  Valley  dust  storm  and  had 
to  make  a  dry  camp  that  night.   When  the  air  cleared  in  the 
morning  we  found  that  we  were  about  a  mile  below  the  line  in 
Mexico.   Sand  had  blown  down  my  back  during  the  night  and  my 
hair  was  full  of  it.   We  had  run  out  of  water  and  drank  juice 
from  canned  fruit,  but  the  horses  were  suffering.   They  had 
had  a  hard  day  and  needed  water.   So  two  of  us  rode  horseback, 
leading  the  other  horses  in  search  for  the  county  well,  which 
we  found  in  due  time.   During  the  first  day  we  ran  across  the 


Packard:     skeleton  of  a  desert  victim  who  had  died  lying  under  a  greasewood 
shrub.   He  had  tied  his  bandana  to  a  twig  in  the  hope,  I 
suppose,  that  he  would  be  found  in  time. 

Meloland  School 

Packard:        There  was  no  school  in  Meloland  when  we  moved  on  to  the 
Experiment  Farm,  so  I  set  about  organizing  a  school  district 
and  building  a  rather  modern  country  school. 

Baum:       Was  this  a  one  room  country  school? 

Packard:    No,  it  had  two  rooms,  a  common  entrance  way,  and  an  office. 
I  became  Chairman  of  the  school  board  which  used  to  meet  in 
my  office.   Mr.  Richardson,  an  elderly  farmer-philosopher 
from  Illinois  who  lived  down  the  road  a  half  a  mile,  and 
John  Waterman--a  successful  family  farm  operator  —  and  Phil 
Brooks,  an  Amherst  College  graduate,  were  the  other  members 
of  the  board. 

Baum:       I  suppose  you  didn't  have  too  many  applications. 

Packard:     No,  we  didn't  have  too  many.   But  we  were  fortunate  in  getting 
teachers  who  selected  the  Meloland  School  because  they  thought 
the  Meloland  school  board  might  let  them  try  out  new  ideas 
in  education  which  we  were  glad  to  do. 

The  circumstances  proved  to  be  just  what  Lura  Sawyer*was 
looking  for--a  rural  school  with  a  board  which  might  support 
her  progressive  ideas.  Frances  Adams,  who  was  also  interested 

in  progressive  education  and  in  rural  schools,  joined  Lura 

*  Dr.  Lura  (Sawyer)  Oak  was  on  the  Education  Committee  for  General 
MacArthur  during  the  reorganization  of  Japan.   Now  (1968)  she  has 
a  consulting  office  in  Palo  Alto  where  she  takes  children  who  have 


Packard:     the  second  year.   They  both  lived  in  a  little  shack  which  we 

moved  onto  the  Experiment  Farm  where  running  water  was  available. 
Incidentally,  both  teachers  were  selected  to  pose  as  the  women 
characters  in  the  mural  which  surrounded  the  upper  wall  in 
the  lobby  of  the  Barbara  Worth  Hotel,  depicting  the  settlement 
of  the  Valley. 

The  philosophical  discussion  which  took  place  during  the 
evenings  on  the  farm  covered  the  field.   Each  of  these  two 
Meloland  teachers  have  made  an  enviable  record.   Lura  Sawyer 
secured  a  Ph.D.  degree  from  Yale  University,  specializing 
in  child  psychology.   She  taught  at  both  Yale  and  Smith 
Colleges  and  during  the  occupation  of  Japan  following  World 
War  II,  she  served  as  an  honorary  Colonel  on  General  MacArthur's 

The  story  of  Frances  Adams,  who  is   a   direct  descendant 
of  President  John  Adams,  is  much  more  personal  so  far  as  her 
relationship  to  our  family  is  concerned.   She  remained  as  a 
teacher  after  Lura  Sawyer  left.   Her  vision  of  the  world  was 
greatly  enlarged  when  Albert  Rh)B  Williams  was  a  guest  of  ours 
on  the  farm.   He  had  become  quite  a  famous  character  through 
his  book,  In  the  Claws  o>f  the  German  Eagle.   I  had  met  him 
through  my  mother  and  invited  him  down  to  be  the  speaker  at 
the  graduating  exercises  in  the  Holtville  high  school.   He 
had  been  to  Russia  and  was  full  of  exciting  revolutionary 
ideas  and  as  I  had  feared,  proved  to  be  quite  a  shocker  at 
the  Holtville  meeting.   He  and  Frances  struck  up  a  lifelong 

*  (continued  from  page  91)   trouble  learning  to  read  (dyslexia). 


Packard:     friendship.   She  joined  his  brother's  church  social  service 
group  in  Cleveland  for  a  while  and  then  moved  to  New  York 
where  she  was  organizing  a  speakers'  bureau  for  the  International 
Forum  Association.   She  later  became  editor  of  the  Forum's 
Bulletin  which  served  as  a  news  sheet  for  forums  throughout 
the  country.   It  was  an  exercise  in  free  speech  at  a  difficult 
time  in  our  history. 

She  married  Alex  Gumberg,  a  very  knowledgeable  Russian  who 
later  became  a  member  of  AMTORG,  the  Russian  trading  corporation. 
This,  of  course,  brought  her  into  close  contact  with  Russian 
affairs.   She  made  several  trips  to  Russia  and  for  years  served 
on  the  Russian  American  Institute  in  New  York.   Alex  served 
as  a  special  advisor  to  Ambassador  Morrow  in  Mexico  and  later 
became  an  advisor  for  Mr.  Floyd  Odium,  head  of  the  Atlas 
Corporation.   The  Gumbergs  lived  in  an  apartment  at  No.  1  Fifth 
Avenue  and  had  a  charming  country  place  in  Connecticut,  where 
on  various  occasions  Emma  and  I  had  a  chance  to  meet  people 
whom  we  would  otherwise  not  have  known.   I  remember  especially 
one  weekend  with  John  Dewey.   Alex  died  of  heart  failure  in 
1940,  after  which  Frances  remained  in  New  York  where  she  has 
maintained  an  active  interest  in  city,  national,  and  inter 
national  affairs.   Our  paths  have  crossed  many  times  in 
New  York,  California,  Puerto  Rico,  and  Greece. 


Broadening  Ideas 

Packard:         Due  in  part  to  the  pressures  of  World  War  I  and,  in  part 

to  normal  evolutionary  developments  in  agriculture,  new  elements 
were  introduced  into  the  agriculture  of  the  Valley  and  new 
forces  impinged  on  my  own  outlook  and  altered  the  subsequent 
course  of  events,  so  far  as  I  was  concerned.   A  new  system 
of  farm  credit  had  become  a  vital  need.   Hearings  were  held 
in  various  parts  of  the  Valley  and  I  took  what  part  I  could. 
The  result  was  the  creation  of  the  Federal  Land  Bank. 
Eltowood  Mead,  head  of  a  newly  established  Department  of  Rural 
Institutions  at  the  University,  became  a  director  in  the  new 

The  Agriculture  Extension  Service  was  another  outgrowth 
of  the  times.   I  helped  to  organize  the  Farm  Bureau  in  Imperial 
County  and  became  its  second  president.   Paul  Dougherty,  a 
lifelong  friend,  became  the  first  Farm  Advisor.   One  of  the 
first  Farm  Bureau  projects  was  the  organization  of  a  4-H  boys 
Club.   The  special  project  was  hog  raising.   When  the  time 
for  judging  came,  I  had  a  large  tent  erected  on  the  Experiment 
Farm  to  accomodate  an  all  day  meeting.   It  was  attended  by 
about  a  hundred  farmers  and  their  hog-raising  sons. 

My  horizon  was  widened  by  events  associated  with  the 
blowing  up  of  the  Los  Angeles  Times.   I  had  come  up  to  Los 
Angeles  from  the  Valley  the  night  of  the  incident  and  was 
shocked  by  the  reports  in  the  morning  papers.   A  series  of 


Packard:     events  followed.   Lincoln  Steffens  appeared  on  the  scene  with 
a  novel  proposal  for  settling  the  matter.   He  thought  the 
Los  Angeles  Times  was  in  the  wrong  with  its  virulent  anti- 
labor  activity  and  suggested  forgiveness  on  the  part  of  Mr. 
Chandler  on  the  basis  of  the  Golden  Rule.   Clarence  Darrow 
came  out  from  Chicago  to  defend  the  labor  group  and  to  back 
Steffens.   Clarence  Darrow  had  his  office  in  the  same  building 
in  which  my  father  had  his  office  in  Chicago.   Their  view 
points  on  religious  issues  were  about  as  opposite  as  they 
could  be.   But  Barrow's  social  viewpoint,  especially  his  attitude 
toward  labor,  had  my  mother's  complete  support.   Upton  Sinclair 
got  into  the  act  and  so  did  my  mother.   She  befriended 
Katherine  Schmidt,  sister  of  the  dynamiter.   "Schmidty"  was 
sent  to  San  Quentin  but  was  later  released  and  married  Beth 
Livermore,  a  member  of  the  influential  Livermore  family  of 
San  Francisco.   Through  my  mother's  activity  in  this  famous 
labor  dispute  I  was  introduced  to  a  side  of  the  labor  movement 
that  I  had  known  little  about. 

At  about  the  same  time  and  for  somewhat  the  same  reasons, 
I  became  aware  of  the  political  influence  that  could  be  exerted 
by  powerful  corporate  interests.   It  involved  a  fight  between 
the  Los  Angeles  Times  and  Job  Harriman,  the  socialist  candidate 
for  mayor  of  Los  Angeles.   It  had  become  evident  that  Los 
Angeles  needed  more  water  and  the  engineers  had  developed  a 
plan  for  bringing  water  down  from  Owens  Valley.   The  plan 
was  imaginative  and  costly.   Opposition  developed,  not  because 


Packard:     of  any  engineering  issue,  but  because  the  Harry  Chandler 

interests  had  quietly  bought  up  the  dry  desert  land  of  the 
San  Fernando  Valley  and  planned  to  use  Owens  River  water  to 
irrigate  the  whole  San  Fernando  Valley,  a  plan  which,  quite 
obviously,  would  raise  land  values  in  the  San  Fernando  Valley 
by  many  millions  of  dollars.   Job  Harriman  opposed  the  plan 
and  ran  for  mayor  in  order  to  be  in  position  to  protect  the 
public  interest.   The  ensuing  campaign  was  of  top  interest 
at  that  time.   My  mother  was  a  staunch  supporter  of  Harriman 
and  my  brother  John  later  became  his  law  partner.   Harriman 
lost  and  the  Chandler  interests  got  the  water  and  millions 
of  dollars  in  increments  in  land  value,  created  by  the  fact 
that  the  citizens  of  Los  Angeles  bonded  themselves  to  pay 
for  the  project. 

Baum:       Your  socialist  ideas  were  apparently  being  fortified  by  these 
Los  Angeles  contacts. 

Packard:    Yes,  that's  right.   But  I  was  still  very  much  of  a  neophyte. 

To  get  back  to  the  story,  the  need  for  expanding  farm  production 
as  part  of  the  war  effort  emphasized  the  need  for  expanding 
the  Agricultural  Extension  program.   So  in  July,  1917,  I  was 
transferred  from  the  Experiment  Station  staff,  to  the  Extension 
Service,  as  Assistant  State  Leader  of  Farm  Advisors,  in  charge 
of  the  work  in  all  of  the  area  lying  south  of  San  Francisco 
and  Stockton  to  the  Mexican  border.   I  moved  the  family  to 
Berkeley  to  begin  a  new  phase  of  my  life.   We  shared  a  two 
story  house  with  the  Veihmeyers  during  out  two  years  stay 


Packard:     in  Berkeley. 

In  retrospect,  I  realize  that  ray  bent  was  not  in  the 
painstaking  work  of  an  agricultural  scientist.   I  was  more 
interested  in  the  social  and  economic  problems  of  the  farm 
family.   When  serving  as  superintendent  of  the  Imperial  Valley 
Experiment  Farm,  my  main  interest  was  in  working  with  farmers 
so  the  Extension  Service  seemed  to  me  to  be  a  field  in  which 
I  would  feel  completely  at  home. 



Packard ; 


So,  in  July  1917,  you  and  the  family  left  Imperial  Valley  and 
settled  in  Berkeley  where  you  took  over  your  new  duties  as 
Assistant  State  Leader  of  Farm  Advisors.   What  was  the  Extension 
Service's  responsibilities  and  what  were  your  duties? 

The  Extension  Service  took  the  place  of  the  old  Farmer's 
Institutes.   It  was  characterized  by  two  definite  features. 
The  first  of  these  was  the  establishment  of  a  Farm  Advisor 
in  each  agricultural  county  where  office  space,  auto,  and 
other  local  expenses  were  to  be  paid  for  by  the  county. 
The  Farm  Advisor  was  to  bring  facts  from  the  subject  matter 
departments  of  the  College  of  Agriculture  and  the  U.S.  Depart 
ment  of  Agriculture  to  the  farm.   The  second  feature  was  the 
organization  of  Farm  Bureaus  in  each  county  through  which 
Farm  Bureau  Centers  would  be  organized  to  provide  an  organized 
means  for  permitting  the  Farm  Advisor  to  contact  farmers  and 
to  learn  something  of  their  problems  which  the  University 
might  help  solve. 

The  plan  was  based  on  the  then  domination  of  the  family 
farm.   Horses  and  mules  at  that  time  provided  the  principal 
motive  power.   The  areas  of  the  state  where  large  corporate 
farms  now  dominate  had  no  adequate  water  supply.   This  fact 
applied  to  Imperial  Valley,  where  the  lack  of  adequate  diversion 
works  and  storage,  created  serious  water  shortages  at  critical 


Packard:    periods  of  the  year.   This  has  all  changed  now.   The  large 

farm  operators  dominate  the  Farm  Bureau  and  highly  mechanized 
corporate  farms  dominate  the  cotton,  truck,  and  to  a  degree, 
the  fruit  producing  areas  of  the  state. 

The  United  States  had  entered  the  First  World  War  and  the 
work  of  the  Extension  Service  was  geared  to  the  need  for 
food  production.   Many  of  the  controlling  directives  came 
from  Washington  and  not  all  of  them  were  applicable.   For 
example,  there  was  a  drive  to  produce  more  wheat  but  most  of 
the  counties  in  my  territory  were  not  adapted  to  wheat  prod 

Dean  Thomas  Forsythe  Hunt  had  become  dean  of  the  College 
of  Agriculture  and  had  brought  certain  key  men  to  the  College. 
B.H.  Crocheron,  came  from  New  York  to  organize  and  lead  the 
Extension  Service.   Charles  Shaw  became  head  of  the  Soils 
Department  and  Elwood  Mead  was  established  as  head  of  the  new 
Department  of  Rural  Institutions.   Dr.  J.  Eliot  Coit,  who  had 
been  associated  with  me  in  Imperial  Valley,  became  the  Farm 
Advisor  in  Los  Angeles  County  which,  at  that  time,  was  the 
highest  producing  county  of  the  United  States  in  terms  of 
money  value . 

My  job  was  to  help  organize  Farm  Bureaus  which  involved 
getting  county  boards  of  supervisors  to  appropriate  the  money 
needed  to  support  the  county  Farm  Advisor's  office  and  traveling 
expenses.   When  this  was  done  I  had  to  help  install  the 
Farm  Advisor  and  supervise  his  work.   One  of  my  responsibilities 


Packard:    was  to  keep  the  Farm  Advisors  in  touch  with  the  subject  matter 
departments  of  the  College.   Chester  Rubel,  who  had  graduated 
from  the  Iowa  State  College  in  1904,  was  the  Assistant  State 
Leader  in  charge  of  the  work  in  Northern  California. 
Baum:       In  the  Extension  Service  you  were  supposed  to  be  concerned 

mainly  with  the  physical  aspects  of  raising  crops. 

Packard:     Yes,  that  was  our  principal  function.   This,  of  course, 
included  all  sorts  of  subjects,  from  soil  management  and 
irrigation  practice  to  pruning,  spraying,  and  fertilization. 
No  one  man  could  be  expert  in  all  of  these  fields.   So  one 
of  my  functions  was  to  get  answers  from  the  experts  in  the 
University  to  questions  which  farmers  asked  Farm  Advisors 
and  which  the  Farm  Advisors  were  unable  to  answer. 

The  work  of  the  Farm  Advisors  was  not  always  wholly 
confined  to  the  task  of  promoting  agricultural  production. 
At  a  meeting  of  a  Farm  Bureau  Center  in  the  mountain  area 
of  Madera  County  the  Farm  Advisor  asked  the  ranchers  what  he 
or  the  University  could  do  for  them.   The  first  answer,  which 
was  seconded  by  several  others  was,  "We  need  wives.   Most  of 
us  are  living  alone  and  if  there  is  anything  you  can  do  to 
help  meet  this  need,  it  will  be  appreciated."   (  Laughter  ) 
On  returning  to  Berkeley,  Crocheron  told  the  story  to  some 
newspaper  men  and  the  call  for  wives  went  out  over  the  United 
Press  lines.   Several  answers  were  received  but  only  one 
wedding  resulted.   It  proved  to  be  a  very  happy  affair.   This 
was  one  of  the  extra-curricular  activities  of  the  Extension 
Service.   (  Laughter  ) 


Packard:         My  own  technical  field  was  soils  and  irrigation  which 

quite  necessarily  involved  problems  of  land  settlement,  credit, 
and  tenure.   There  was  considerable  concern  in  the  state  over 
the  problem  of  growing  tenancy.   Due  to  my  prior  interest  in 
the  All  American  Canal  in  Imperial  County  I  became  involved 
in  a  prolonged  controversy  over  plans  for  developing  the 
Eastside  Mesa  and  the  Coachella  Valley  which  would  become 
irrigable  from  the  new  canal.   I  opposed  opening  the  Mesa 
to  settlement  on  the  traditional  pattern  because  of  the 
extremely  porous  character  of  the  soil  which  would,  I  thought 
create  a  serious  drainage  problem,  not  only  for  Mesa  land, 
but  for  all  of  the  area  of  the  Valley  adjacent  to  the  Mesa. 
As  a  result  of  these  unfavorable  conditions,  the  Mesa  has 
never  been  developed  and  is  now  used  by  the  armed  services 
for  purposes  requiring  wide  open  and  unoccupied  space. 

George  Kreutzer,  who  had  worked  with  Elwood  Mead  in 
Australia,  was  the  first  Farm  Advisor  in  Kern  County  and 
later  became  the  superintendent  of  the  first  State  Land 
Settlement  at  Durham  in  the  Sacramento  Valley.   One  of 
Kreutzer  "s  projects  was  the  introduction  of  an  auction  system 
of  marketing  hogs  locally.   Instead  of  shipping  hogs  to 
Los  Angeles  or  other  markets,  farmers  would  bring  their 
hogs  to  central  points  where  buyers  from  competing  concerns 
would  bid  against  each  other.   The  hogs  were  classified 
into  marketing  groups  as  a  means  of  getting  the  best  prices. 
The  system  became  very  popular. 


Packard:         Paul  Dougherty,  the  first  Farm  Advisor  in  Imperial 

Valley,  is  another  associate  whose  path  I  have  crossed  since 
those  early  days.   Paul,  along  with  Knowles  Ryerson,  resigned 
from  the  Extension  Service  and  enlisted  in  the  army  for  service 
overseas  in  World  War  I.   I  sought  Ryerson 's  help  in  Paris 
when  I  was  trying  to  organize  an  aid  program  for  Armenia 
during  the  Armistice  period  following  World  War  I  and  Paul 
became  a  settler  on  the  Delhi  project  while  I  was  superintendent 
of  that  project. 

Harriet  Eddy,*who  had  been  State  Librarian  in  California 
was  the  State  Leader  of  the  Home  Economics  Division  of  the 
Extension  Service.   She  was  a  very  liberal— minded  and  forth 
right  person  whose  interests  extended  into  the  economic  and 
political  fields,  as  mine  did.   She  was  very  much  interested 
in  the  Russian  Revolution  and  was  employed,  as  a  consultant, 
by  the  Russian  government  on  two  occasions  to  help  in  estab 
lishing  the  library  system  for  all  of  Russia.   Although 
as  a  neophyte  socialist  I  shared  her  sympathy  for  the  revolution, 
I  never  accepted  the  communist  philosophy  for  reasons  which 
will  become  clear  as  I  proceed  with  this  account  of  my  life. 
I  should  mention  here  that  Harriet  Eddy  gave  me  a  letter  of 
introduction  to  her  cousin  Lincoln  Steffens,  which  I  delivered 
to  him  in  Paris,  which  led  to  many  interesting  experiences. 

Baum:       Well,  maybe  she's  unsold  now. 

Packard:     No,  I  don't  think  so.   I  haven't  seen  her  for  years.   I  under 
stand  that  she  is  completely  deaf  now  but  retains  an  unquenchable 

*  Miss  Eddy  wrote  and  published  a  story  of  her  work  in  Home  Econ 
omics  for  U.C.  Extension,  entitled  "County  Free  Library  Organizing 
in  California-1909-1918:  Personal  Recollections". 


Packard:     enthusiasm  for  the  Russian  cause.   She  recently  celebrated 
her  90th  birthday.2- 

My  own  interest  in  the  Russian  Revolution  was  not  wholly 
impersonal.   My  youngest  sister  Esther  and  her  husband,  Phil 
Chadbourn,  had  returned  from  their  assignment  with  the  State 
Department  in  Russia  and  were  of  course  the  center  of  great 
interest.   They  were  living  temporarily  with  our  family  in 
Pasadena.   Phil's  new  assignment  was  to  be  a  free-lance 
political  agent  for  the  State  Department  in  Irkutsk,  Siberia, 
where  he  was  to  report  on  any  things  pertaining  to  the  war. 
He  decided  to  come  to  Berkeley  and  stay  with  Emma  and  me 
while  he  was  gathering  the  clothes  and  other  things  he  would 
need  in  Irkutsk.   We  were  all  startled,  not  to  say  dismayed, 
by  a  telegram  from  Secretary  of  State  Lansing  saying,  "Your 
appointment  Irkutsk  cancelled."  Nothing  else. 

There  was  nothing  for  Phil  to  do  but  to  return  to  Washington 
to  find  out  what  had  happened.   So  he  and  I  went  to  Los 
Angeles  where  he  could  confer  with  Esther.   The  Los  Angeles 
paper,  the  morning  we  arrived  carried  big  headlines  saying 
that  Rhys  Williams,  who  was  on  his  way  back  from  Russia 
through  Vladivostok,  was  to  be  arrested  the  minute  he  landed. 
The  next  thing  we  knew  came  from  a  telephone  call  to  my  mother 
from  Los  Angeles.   No  names  were  mentioned  but  the  voice  was 

2.   Miss  Eddy  died  since  this  was  written—Memorial  Services 
were  held  on  the  U.C.  campus  in  February  1967. 


Packard:     familiar.   It  was  the  same  Rhys  Williams  who  had  spoken  to 

the  farmers  meeting  on  the  Experiment  Farm.   After  hasty  con 
versation,  it  was  arranged  that  I  would  drive  Phil  into  Los 
Angeles  where  we  would  pick  Rhys  up  and  I  would  then  put 
them  both  on  the  train  for  Washington  from  Riverside.   This 
I  did  with  no  untoward  incidents. 

On  arriving  in  Washington,  Phil  found  that  he  was  every 
thing  a  person  should  not  be  in  those  days.   He  could  get 
no  official  charge  or  information  of  any  kind  as  to  why  he 
had  been  dismissed.   So  he  enlisted  in  the  army.   And  when 
it  was  found  that  he  knew  some  Russian  and  had  been  in  Russia, 
he  was  given  the  Russian  Desk  in  the  War  Department  which  was 
located  in  the  same  building  which  housed  the  State  Department 
which  had  just  dismissed  him.   The  first  day  in  office  he 
found  a  folder  marked  "Phil  Chadbourn" .   He  told  his  commanding 
officer  what  had  happened  and  was  given  freedom  to  open  the 
file  and  examine  the  contents.   He  found  that  the  State 
Department  had  employed  a  society  matron  to  go  to  Hollywood, 
rent  a  house,  and  get  what  information  she  could  through 
elaborate  entertainment.   Phil  had  been  her  guest  on  one  or 
more  occasion  and  everything  he  said  was  recorded.   The  most 
damning  statement  was  in  answer  to  her  question,  "What  can 
I  do  for  the  Revolution?"  The  reply  was,  "I  think  you  would 
make  a  wonderful  queen  of  the  mint- juleps. "  Phil  remained 
at  the  Russian  Desk  for  the  rest  of  the  war. 

After  some  months  in  the  Extension  Service  I  began  to 


Packard:     realize  that  the  underlying  problems  facing  farmers  are 

economic  rather  than  technical.   Markets,  credit,  mortgage 
debt,  and  tenure  problems  were  keeping  many  farmers  from 
doing  what  they  knew  they  ought  to  do  on  the  farm  but  couldn't 
because  of  lack  of  capital.   Settlers  coming  into  the  state 
had  been  having  a  hard  time  for  years,  in  part  because  of 
inflated  land  values  and  badly  planned,  sometimes  dishonest, 
promotion  schemes.   I  became  greatly  enamored  with  Dr.  Mead's 
land  settlement  proposals.   It  seemed  to  me  that  he  was 
dealing  with  basic  issues.   His  land  settlement  plans  were 
being  widely  discussed  in  national  magazines  and  were  the 
subject  of  months  of  study  by  the  Commonwealth  Club.   The 
Secretary  of  the  Interior,  Franklin  K.  Lane,  was  ready  to 
adopt  the  Mead  plan  in  handling  the  anticipated  demand  for 
land  by  returned  soldiers  following  the  war. 

So,  when  the  Army  Educational  Corps  was  organized  and 
farms  for  soldiers  became  one  of  the  accepted  subjects  for 
educational  meetings  to  be  organized  among  the  soldiers  in 
France  while  they  were  waiting  for  shipment  home,  I  was  selected 
as  the  one  to  join  the  Corps.   At  the  end  of  the  annual 
week's  trip  of  Farm  Bureau  members  from  all  over  the  state, 
which  ended  in  Los  Angeles,  I  was  presented  with  a  very 
attractive  gold  watch  chain  and  attached  pen  knife  at  the 
final  banquet,  as  a  farewell  present. 

My  change  in  plans  did  not  end  with  the  special  assign 
ment.   When  I  returned  I  was  to  become  a  member  of  Dr.  Mead's 


Packard:     Division  of  Rural  Institutions.   But,  in  preparation  for 
this  new  work  I  was  given  a  sabbatical  leave  for  a  year's 
work  in  economics  at  Harvard  University.   So  ended  my  Extension 

career . 



Army  Education  Corps  Lectures 

Baum:       Well,  we're  all  set  to  begin  with  when  you  went  into  the 
Army  Educational  Program. 

Packard:     Yes.   You  know,  after  the  Armistice  in  November,  1918,  the 

pressure  on  the  Agricultural  Extension  Service  for  increasing 
production  for  the  war  effort  was  slowed  down,  of  course. 
There  was  no  need  for  increasing  production  any  more.   But 
there  was  a  great  deal  of  attention  being  paid  to  the  veterans 
who  would  appear  on  the  labor  market  in  a  little  while- 
looking  for  jobs  and  opportunities  for  making  a  living.   Since 
giving  land  to  soldiers  was  a  great  thing  after  the  Revolutionary 
War  (Where  the  Crown  lands  and  lands  of  some   of  the 
Tory  estates  were  broken  up  and  distributed  to  veterans  of 
the  war)   and  since  the  Homestead  Act  was  signed  in  1861  to 
give  farms  to  soldiers  after  the  Civil  War,  it  seemed  logical 
to  a  great  many  people  that  there  would  be  another  demand 
for  farms  after  the  First  World  War.   Since  all  the  good 
homestead  land  was  gone — there  wasn't  any  more  of  the  free 
open  West  to  settle  —  it  was  necessary  to  think  of  reclamation 
projects—drainage ,  flood  control,  cut-over  land  reclamation, 
and  irrigation.   So  the  Interior  Department  decided  that  since 
it  was  responsible  for  the  Bureau  of  Reclamation,  it  was  quite 
important  that  they  do  something  for  the  soldiers  who  might 
want  land. 


Packard:         Elwood  Mead,  an  early  pioneer  in  the  reclamation  field 
in  the  United  States,  had  just  returned  from  several  years 
of  land  settlement  work  in  Australia  and  had  become  head  of 
a  new  Department  of  Rural  Institutions  of  the  College  of  Agric 
ulture  of  the  University  of  California.   He  was  giving  wide 
publicity  to  a  new  plan  of  land  settlement  which  he  had  pro 
moted  in  Australia.   The  outstanding  features  of  the  plan 
were  long  term  payments,  (34  years  on  land  debt  and  20  years 
on  improvements);   low  rates  of  interest  (57»  at  that  time 
seemed  low) ;   subdivision  of  the  land  into  farms  of  various 
sizes,  dependent  upon  the  character  of  the  soil  and  crops 
to  be  raised;   free  technical  assistance  in  planning  farm 
operations,  building  problems,  controlling  insect  pests  and 
plant  diseases;   and  providing  other  services  needed  by  new 
settlers  on  reclamation  projects.  It  was  assumed  that  these 
services  would  be  especially  needed  in  the  case  of  veterans 
who  wanted  land  but  had  had  no  practical  experience  and 
possessed  little  capital. 

Franklin  K.  Lane,  a  Californian,  was  the  Secretary  of 
Interior  and  favored  the  idea  of  having  the  Bureau  of 
Reclamation  expand  its  functions  by  taking  on  responsibility 
for  providing  farms  for  soldiers.   The  Mead  plan  was  to  be 
the  pattern  to  be  followed.   An  Educational  Corps  had  been 
established  as  part  of  the  A.E.F.  to  give  lectures  and  to 
organize  classes  in  the  camps  in  France  where  thousands  of 
soldiers  were  waiting  for  ships  to  transport  them  home.   This 


Packard:     seemed  to  be  a  good  chance  to  present  the  back-to-the-farm 
program  which  Secretary  Lane,  Mead,  and  others  had  planned. 

Since  1  was  interested  in  land  and  water  development  and 
believed  in  the  Mead  land  settlement  program,  I  was  selected 
to  go  to  France  to  present  the  plan  to  the  soldiers.   Frank 
Adams  and  Professor   Ernest  Babcock  were  also  selected  for 
other  special  missions  in  the  Educational  Corps. 

This  change  in  assignment  ushered  in  a  completely  new 
program  for  me.   I  was  given  a  special  leave  of  absence  to 
be  followed  by  a  sabbatical  leave  to  be  used  in  taking  a  year's 
work  in  economics  at  Harvard  to  prepare  me  for  a  position 
in  Mead's  Department  of  Rural  Institutions. 

My  contract  with  the  Educational  Corps  called  for  a 
monthly  payment  of  $250 .iOO  to  Mrs.  Packard  and  a  $4.00  per 
day  spending  allowance  for  me  in  addition  to  room  and  board 
in  army  camps.   So,  after  getting  the  family  settled  in 
Pasadena  for  the  duration,  I  left  for  New  York.   I  stopped 
in  Washington  to  talk  with  Bureau  of  Reclamation  officials 
and  to  pick  up  slides  and  three  movie  reels  showing  reclamation 
projects.   I  met  Secretary  Lane,  who  gave  me  further  information 
regarding  his  soldier  settlement  plans.   I  was  inducted  into 
the  Educational  Corps  through  the  National  Y.M.C.A.  in  New 
York  as  an  extension  of  the  war  work  the  Y  had  been  doing. 
I  was  given  an  overseas  uniform  and  was  briefed  on  what  to 
expect  and  how  to  act. 

I  took  time  out  to  go  to  Cambridge  to  arrange  for  matric- 


Packard:     ulation  at  Harvard  when  I  returned.   My  spare  time  was  spent 
in  visiting  my  sisters,  Stella  and  Laura,  who  were  living  in 
New  York,  and  I  was  introduced  into  some  of  the  life  of 
Greenwich  Village  through  Frances  Adams  who  was  then  engaged 
to  Alex  Gumberg. 

One  incident  comes  to  mind  which  I  thought  quite  amusing. 
A  preacher  from  upstate  New  York  was  in  a  fix.   He  had  been 
recruited  by  the  Y.M.C.A.  to  talk  on  national  parks  but  the 
Army  people  told  him  that  he  would  have  to  get  a  more  vital 
subject  to  qualify.   They  suggested  that  he  might  give  some 
lectures  on  Russia.   He  told  me  that  the  only  things  he  knew 
about  Russia  concerned  the  much  talked  about  plan  for  the 
nationalization  of  women.   I  told  him  what  I  knew  about  Russia, 
which  was  very  little  of  the  type  of  thing  the  Army  would  want 
him  to  discuss.   At  any  rate  he  was  on  shipboard  when  we 
left  New  York  two  days  later.   I  was  told  by  Frances  Adams 
that  Rhys  Williams'  brother  was  to  be  on  the  ship.   I  took 
pains  to  look  him  up  and  he  reciprocated  by  avoiding  me 
because  he  did  not  want  to  be  associated  with  his  brother 
in  the  minds  of  his  supervisors  in  the  Educational  Corps. 
(  Laughter  ) 

We  crossed  on  the  Great  Northern,  an  18,000  ton  liner 
formerly  belonging  to  a  Canadian  Pacific  line.   The  passenger 
list  consisted  almost  wholly  of  personnel  of  the  Army  Educational 
Corps.   The  trip  was  uneventful  except  for  interest  created 
by  having  mine  sweeps  attached  to  the  prow  of  the  boat  a  day 
or  so  before  reaching  Brest.   They  consisted  of  steel  cables 


Packard:   attached  to   devices  which  held  the  end  of  the  cable  well 
outside  of  the  ship's  course. 

We  landed  at  Brest  and  went  directly  to  Paris  where 
I  reported  for   duty.   A  few  excerpts  from  my  first  letter 
home  may  be  worth  recording: 

It  took  me  an  hour  and  a  half  to  get  through 
the  red  tape  at  the  railroad  station  at  iSrest. 
Everyone  had  to  look  after  his  own  baggage  and 
that  was  quite  a  job  for  me  since   I  have  boxes 
of  slides  and  three  movie  reels  given  to  me  by 
the  Bureau  of  Reclamation  in  Washington.   We 
rented  blankets  and  pillows  at  two  francs 
apiece  from  a  woman  at   the  station.   Two  cars 
were  reserved  for  Americans  but  we  had  a  hard 
time  getting  seats.  Those  who  could  not  get 
seats  had  to  stand  in  the  aisle  all  night. 
I  had  a  compartment  with  three  other  men,  one 
from  the  Department  of  Agriculture  and  two 
Red  Cross  officials.   We  took  some  sandwiches 
and  a  bottle  of  wine  along  because   if   you 
left  your  seat  someone  else  would  grab  it.   We 
tried  to  make  ourselves  comfortable  with  our 
•feet  all  entangled  in   each  other's  seats  with 
the  blankets  covering  the   bunch. 

We  passed  through  a  most   beautiful 
country.   The  hills  are  all  green  and  the  trees 
are  just  sending  out  their  leaves.   The  houses 
are  all  of  stone  and  are  surrounded  by  vines, 
gardens  and  trees.    The  trees  are  all  stumped 
off  about  twenty-five   feet  from  the  ground  every 
two  years  in  order  to   get  kindling  wood   and 
brush.    Some  of  the  brush   is   used  in  making 
crude  brooms  and  some  for  faggots.   The  quaint 
little  towns  nestled  down   in  the  valleys  are 
most  picturesque.   The  houses  all  have  slate 
roofs  and  are   usually  two  or  three  stories  high 
with  no  porches  and  with  all  the  windows  covered 
with  blinds. 

. . .We  passed  trainloads  of  soldiers  going 
home.  They  were  all  packed  in  those  funny  little 
stubby  French  freight  cars  that  you  have  heard 
about ..  .with  "eight  horses  or  forty  men ''written 
on  the  sides.   They  all  seemed  mighty  cheerful... 
When  we  got  to  Paris  we  checked  in  at  the  hotel 
de  la  Grande  Bretagne  on  fourteen  rue  Carumartin 
where  we  got  rooms  for  twelve  francs  apiece. 


Packard : 

The  breakfast  of  bread  (no  butter) ,  coffee 
(that  was  atrocious),  and  two  eggs  cost  us 
six  francs  or  about  one  dollar.   The  taxis 
cost  thirteen  francs  but  four  of  us  divided 
it  and  one  of  the  men,  who  could  speak 
French,  knocked  the  price  down  from  eighteen 

When  I  reported  at  headquarters  I  was  transferred 
from  YMCA  jurisdiction  to  the  A.E.F.  and  given  a  Sam  Brown 
belt  to  signify  that  I  had  officer  rank.   I  never  quite 
got  used  to  the  saluting  and  all  that,  but  I  did   enjoy 
eating  at  the  officers'  mess  and  having  a  cot  in  the 
officers'  quarters. 

One  evening  in  Paris  I  was  having  supper  alone  at  a  sidewalk 
cafe  where  I  was  joined  by  an  American  in  civilian  clothes.   I 
had  spotted  him  as  an  American  when  I  saw  him  coming  but  he  never 
said  a  word.   He  sat  opposite  me  at  the  table  and  began  ordering 
his  meal  in  French.   The  waiter  failed  to  understand  so  my  new 
friend  laid   the  menu  down  and  looked  at  me  and  said  in  a  disgusted 

tone, "The  son  of  a can't  understand  his  own  language. "[Laughter] 

He  must  have  recognized  you  as  an  American, too. 
Yes,  of  course,  I  was  in  uniform. 

Oh,how  were  you  addressed?  Were  you  just  mister  or  something  else? 
Just  mister.   The  amenities  thus  met,  conversation  with  my 
dining  companion  began  and  continued  till  midnight.   I  found 
that  he  was  a  reporter  for  the  Paris  edition  of  the  Chicago 
Tribune.   We  went  to  his  room  after  dinner  where  I  gave  him 
my  story  which  appeared  on  the  front  page  of  the  paper  the 


Packard:     next  day.   This  was  quite  a  break  because  the  paper  was  widely 
read  in  the  camps.   I  agreed  to  answer  all  letters  which  might 
come  in  as  a  result  of  the  advertising.   Later  on  similar 
articles  appeared  in  Stars  and  Stripes .   But  I  soon  found  out 
the  sentiment  expressed  by  the  song,  "How  are  you  going  to  get 
them  back  on  the  farm  after  they've  seen  Paree",  was  very  real. 

I  was  sent  to  the  Army  Educational  Corps  headquarters 
at  Beaune ,  France,  where  I  was  assigned  to  the  Citizenship 
Division  under  the  direction  of  Dr.  John  Kingsbury  who  was  the 
commanding  major  of  the  American  Red  Cross  Corps  in  the  A.E.F. 
in  France.   His  early  training  and  experience  were  in  the 
educational  field,  but  his  interest  in  people  led  him  into 
social  service  work.   He  eventually  became  Commissioner  of 
Public  Charities  in  New  York  City.   I  found  that  he  had  been 
a  socialist  all  his  life  and  was  very  much  interested  in  what 
was  going  on  in  Russia.   My  assignment  to  Dr.  Kingsbury 's 
division  caused  some  jurisdictional  trouble  because  Dr.  Kenyon 
L.  Butterfield,  president  of  the  Massachusetts  Agricultural 
College,  wanted  me  in  his  Vocational  Education  Division.   In 
a  letter  home  I  had  this  to  say, 

Yesterday  I  had  a  wonderful  ride  through  the  French 
countryside.   The  party  consisted  of  Butterfield,  Mr. 
Mason  S.  Stibem,  Lt .  Governor  of  Vermont,  Mr.  Dougherty, 
of  New  York  City,  and  me.   We  started  out  with  a  good 
French  road  map, and  an  army  Cadillac  and  a  soldier  to 
drive  it.   We  drove  from  Beaune  to  Molay  for  dinner, 
then  to  Autun,  on  to  Etang  and  back  to  Chagny  for  supper, 
getting  back  to  Beaune  about  nine-thirty  that  night. 
I  have  never  seen  country  quite  like  this  although  it 
resembles  some  of  the  prettier  parts  of  California.   The 
country  is  all  rolling,  with  little  towns  nestled  in  the 


Packard:         trough  of  valleys  or  perhaps  perched  up  under  some  rocky 
palisades.   The  hills  look  like  checkerboards  with  the 
very  small  fields  all  planted  to  different  crops.   The 
houses  all  have  red  tile  roofs  which  make  a  wonderful 
picture  with  the  contrasting  green  background." 

Dr.  Kingsbury  won  out  in  the  controversy  on  the  theory 
that  he  could  contact  more  people  in  his  broad  citizenship 
program  than  Butterfield  could  in  his  restricted  agricultural 

I  went  from  camp  to  camp,  usually  by  auto  or  a  motor 
cycle  with  a  side  car.   After  giving  my  talk  I  would  ask  for 
questions  and  invariably  the  first  question  would  be  "When 
do  we  go  home?"  (  Laughter  )   It  was  very  evident  that  few 
soldiers  wanted  to  go  onto  reclamation  projects.   Jobs  in 
industry  were  more  attractive.   The  record  showed,  however, 
that  I  spoke  to  a  total  of  4,859  soldiers  and  secured  the 
names  and  addresses  of  498  who  wanted  more  information. 

Baum:       Was  all  this  delay  in  getting  the  boys  home  simply  due  to  the 
lack  of  shipping  space? 

Packard:     Yes.   In  spite  of  efforts  to  crowd  as  many  men  onto  a  ship 
as  possible  there  were  not  enough  ships  to  take  everyone 
home  at  once.   I,  for  example,  returned  on  the  Emperator 
with  12,000  aboard.   The  war  was  over  and  the  soldiers,  quite 
understandably,  wanted  to  get  home  as  soon  as  possible. 

Baum:       They  didn't  want  to  spend  another  couple  of  months  in  Europe 
sight-seeing,  on  the  Army? 

Packard:     No.   They  had  seen  enough  and  just  wanted  to  go  home. 

I  was  often  accompanied  on  these  trips  by  other  lecturers 


Packard:    who  usually  made  good  company.   But  one  time  I  was  stuck  with 
a  professor  of  history  from  Harvard  who  wanted  to  see  every 
historical  place  in  France.   I  was  with  him  in  Blois  where 
we  rented  a  horse  and  buggy  and  drove  to  every  point  in  town 
mentioned  in  his    Baedecker.   As  soon  as  he  was  sure  of  the 
place  he  would  mark  it  off  and  go  on  to  the  next  stop.   We 
never  went  inside.   All  he  wanted  was  to  be  able  to  say  truth 
fully  that  he  had  seen  each  place.   (  Laughter  ) 

I  missed  the  train  out  of  Blois  and  had  to  stay  overnight. 
In  a  letter  to  Mrs.  Packard,  I  had  this  to  say, 

I  enjoyed  seeing  this  French  town  wake  up.   First  the 
street  sweeper  appeared—an  old  man  with  a  broom  made  of 
tree  twigs  tied  to  a  long  handle.   A  few  shopkeepers 
opened  up  and  people  began  to  open  the  shutters  to  the 
windows  to  air  out.   (They  all  sleep  with  windows  and 
shutters  closed.)   Refuse  from  the  kitchens  was  dumped  in 
piles  in  the  street  where  dogs  and  "beachcombers"  had  a 
chance  to  pick  up  a  few  morsels  of  food.   The  garbage 
collector  came  last  with  his  wagon  and  shovel.   By  8:30 
the  town  was  in  fair  working  order. 

The  Educational  Corps  work  was  stopped  within  a  month 
after  my  arrival,  for  reasons  which  I  never  understood.   Tons 
of  textbooks  and  the  like  were  in  the  warehouses  unopened  and 
hundreds  of  people  like  myself  were  given  a  vacation  of  thirty 
days  on  pay  before  being  sent  home. 

Plan  to  Rehabilitate  Armenia 

Packard:        I  took  a  train  for  Paris  with  an  idea  of  finding  something 
else  to  do.   When  I  arrived  at  the  Paris  station,  who  should 
I  meet  but  Dr.  Kingsbury.   He  told  me  he  was  going  to  Russia 
for  the  Near  East  Foundation.   What  was  I  going  to  do?   I  said 


Packard:    "I'm  going  to  Russia,  too."  On  being  asked  who  I  was  going  with, 
I  said,  "You."   (  Laughter  ) 

I  had  quickly  conjured  up  a  plan  of  action  after  I  found 
that  Russia,  in  this  case,  meant  Armenia.   I  outlined  a  plan 
for  using  army  tractors  and  farm  equipment,  then  in  France, 
in  preparing  land  for  planting  in  Armenia  where  the  workstock 
had  been  killed  or  taken  away  by  the  Turks.   I  told  Dr.  Kingsbury 
that  I  thought  production  programs  could  be  organized  in 
villages  where  the  work  would  be  supervised  by  American  soldiers 
experienced  in  handling  tractors  who  might  like  such  an  assign 
ment.   We  discussed  the  plan  during  dinner  at  a  sidewalk 
cafe.   Dr.  Kingsbury  was  sufficiently  impressed  both  with  the 
plan  and  with  the  need  for  quick  action  that  he  proposed  that 
we  have  a  conference  with  Henry  Morggnthau,  head  of  the  Near 
East  Foundation,  who  was  then  staying  at  the  Ritz.   He  secured 
an  appointment  that  same  evening.   Mr.  Morgenthau  saw  merit 
in  the  proposal  but  said  that  nothing  could  be  done  without 
Herbert  Hoover's  approval,  since  he  was  in  charge  of  the  Food 
Administration,  then  engaged  in  feeding  starving  people  in 
Russia.   He  arranged  for  a  conference  the  following  morning 
when  I  outlined  the  plan  to  Mr.  Hoover,  who  immediately  approved 
the  idea  but  said  that  it  would  be  necessary  to  get  President 
Wilson's  approval  before  going  ahead. 

The  nature  of  the  plan,  including  my  employment  as  director 
of  the  work,  is  best  presented  by  the  following  letter  to  Mr. 
Morgenthau  and  the  proposed  plan  of  procedure. 


Hotel  Manchester 
1  Rue  de  Grammont 
Paris,  France 

June  26,  1919 

Mr.  Henry  Morgenthau 

Hotel  Ritz 


My  dear  Mr.  Morgenthau: 

In  accordance  with  your  request  I  have  prepared  a  brief  state 
ment  of  the  possible  agricultural  program  for  Armenia  for  1919. 

The  immediate  agricultural  problem  is,  of  course,  one  of 
production.   I  feel,  however,  that  a  most  important  work  lies  ahead  in 
the  establishment  of  a  sound  agricultural  policy  for  the  future.   A  pros 
perous  and  contented  rural  population  forms  a  strong  basis  on  which  to 
build  a  permanent  government.   Armenians  appear  to  make  industrious, 
capable,  farmers  and  certainly  offer  an  excellent  basis  for  a  successful 
rural  development. 

Remarkable  transformations  have  occured  in  rural  Ireland,  in 
Denmark,  Sweden,  Norway,  Canada,  Australia  and  New  Zealand  during  the 
past  few  years,  as  a  direct  result  of  a  wise  use  of  agricultural  lands. 
The  United  States  is  just  beginning  on  a  program  of  land  settlement  which 
will  mean  much  for  country  life.   If,  in  the  organization  of  a  new  Republic 
in  Armenia  a  proper  foundation  for  rural  development  can  be  laid  in  the 
next  few  years,  an  important  step  toward  stable  government  will  have  been 
accomplished . 

Mr.  rf.  Llew  Williams  in  writing  of  the  economic  situation  in 
Armenia  in  his  book  on  "Armenia  Past  and  Present"  says  "The  economic  dev 
elopment  is  perhaps  the  biggest  task  but  it  is  not  the  most  difficult. 
It  is  to  secure  for  this  population  an  opportunity  for  developing  their 
industrial  capacities  and  the  economic  possibilities  of  their  land  —  its 
vast  mineral  wealth,  its  agricultural  possibilities,  etc.   Here  experienced 
advisors  and  the  financial  aid  of  the  Powers  will  be  necessary  for  an 
indefinite  period. --At  the  same  time  it  will  be  the  duty  of  the  Powers 
or  of  the  new  Government  to  save  wealth  of  the  land  from  greedy  exploiters 
who  aim  at  their  immediate  enrichment  at  the  cost  of  permanent  economic 
injury  to  the  people  as  a  whole."  This  expresses  my  feeling  exactly. 

I  would  like  to  have  an  opportunity  of  directing  the  initial 
stages  of  this  work.   I  feel  that  my  work  in  California  has  been  an  ex 
cellent  preparation  for  such  an  undertaking.   Owing  to  my  home  circumstances 
I  could  not  accept  the  position,  however,  for  less  that  $5,000.00  a  year 


-  2  - 

and  all  expenses  and  would  expect  whatever  insurance  you  are  accustomed 

to  grant  against  the  unusual  risks  incident  to  the  work  in  that  section. 

I  would  hope  to  complete  the  preliminary  study  and  work  by  January  1920. 

My  further  connection  with  the  work  could  be  determined  at  that  time. 

At  present  I  would  hope  to  return  to  my  work  in  California  on  the  completion 

of  the  task,  leaving  the  work  in  Armenia  to  be  carried  on  by  whatever 

power  receives  the  mandate  for  that  section. 

Respectfully  yours, 


OF  THE  PRESENT  YEAR,  1919  * 

Reports  indicate  that  seed,  power  and  tools  are  seriously 
lacking  in  Armenia  at  the  present  time,  and  that  unless  the  situation  is 
handled  vigorously  in  the  near  future,  another  planting  season  will  pass 
with  but  a  portion  of  the  land  seeded.   As  ninety  percent  of  the  cultivated 
land,  both  irrigated  and  non-irrigated,  is  devoted  to  wheat  and  barley, 
the  main  task  for  the  immediate  future  is  to  prepare  as  much  land  as  possible 
for  fall  planting.   Plowing  usually  begins  in  the  early  fall  or  late  summer, 
after  the  first  rains  and  continues  until  winter  sets  in,  which  in  the 
lower  and  more  favored  valleys,  is  not  until  December.   With  the  late  start 
and  facing  the  existing  condition  of  the  workers  in  Armenia,  it  would 
probably  be  impossible  to  seed  the  normal  fall  planted  acreage,  although 
by  spring  the  operations  could  perhaps  be  so  organized  as  to  permit  normal 

The  present  relief  organization  in  Armenia  is  attempting  the 
purchase  of  seed  wheat,  which  seems  to  be  available  both  north  and  south 
of  Russian  Armenia.   This  work  would  have  to  be  continued  until  a  sufficient 
supply  has  been  secured.   A  small  supply  of  garden  seed  for  late  summer 
planting  should  be  purchased  as  there  would  be  a  possible  opportunity  of 
securing  a  certain  production  from  small  community  gardens  on  irrigated 
tracts  during  the  fall.   Crops  such  as  carrots,  beets,  early  maturing 
beans,  and  grain  sorghums,  cabbage,  lettuce  and  potatoes  could  be  success 
fully  planted  if  the  work  is  not  delayed.   The  advisability  of  attempting 
fall  planting  of  truck  crops  depends  upon  the  ability  to  act  quickly. 
In  case  the  seed  was  purchased  and  was  not  used ,  it  could  of  course  be 
saved  for  spring  planting. 

The  agricultural  problems  involved  in  the  planting  of  the 
grains  and  vegetables  should  be  in  the  hands  of  an  experienced  American. 
Many  of  the-  methods  .now  so  successfully  used  in  the  Farm  Bureau  work  in  the 
United  States  could  be  profitably  adapted  to  the  organization  of  this  work. 
Producers  and  leaders  in  the  various  localities  should  be  organized  in 
their  own  interests  and  the  work  done  should  be  done  with  their  voluntary 
assistance . 

As  horses  and  oxen  are  now  scarce  in  Armenia,  work  animals 
should  be  purchased  from  neighboring  countries  and  brought  into  Armenia 
for  sale.   This  work  should  be  under  the  direction  of  an  experienced 
American  who  could  work  through  native  helpers  in  the  regions  entered. 
The  extent  of  this  work  could  not  be  estimated  until  a  study  of  the  sit 
uation  has  been  made  on  the  ground.   The  introduction  of  poultry,  rabbits, 
dairy  stock,  cattle  and  sheep  should  also  be  undertaken  and  should  be  under 
the  direction  of  the  livestock  specialist. 

*  Report  prepared  for  Henry  Morgenthau 


In  order  to  get  quick  action  it  would  be  advisable  to  purchase 
twenty- five  or  more  tractors  and  a  supply  of  farm  machinery  for  immediate 
use.   Both  tractors  and  farm  machinery,  including  plows,  harrows,  discs, 
and  seeders  can  be  secured  in  France.   The  harvesting  machinery  could  be 
purchased  later  if  conditions  seemed  to  warrant.   A  large  supply  of  hand 
tools,  shovels,  hoes  and  racks,  should  be  purchased  for  immediate  use. 
The  Army  has  a  very  large  supply  of  shovels  on  hand  and  the  other  material 
could  be  easily  secured  in  Paris. 

Reports  indicate  that  the  irrigations  systems  in  Russian  Armenia 
have  been  badly  damaged  and  in  some  cases  quite  wholly  destroyed.   An 
irrigation  engineer  should  be  employed  to  attempt  a  reconstruction  of 
those  ditches,  where  the  task  is  not  too  great,  and  he  should  also  make  a 
very  general  survey  of  the  country  to  ascertain  the  possibilities  of  thorough 
reconstruction  and  extension  of  irrigation  and  something  of  the  need  and 
possibilities  for  drainage. 

In  order  to  carry  out  the  production  program  satisfactorily 
some  system  of  rural  credits  would  be  necessary.   The  small  and  large 
farmer  alike  will  probably  have  to  receive  some  aid  in  the  purchase  of 
stock  and  equipment.   For  temporary  purposes  the  stock  and  implements 
purchased  by  the  committee  could  be  rented  to  those  who  could  not  buy, 
a  crop  mortgage  being  taken  as  a  guarantee  of  payment.   This  problem 
would  be  one  for  the  new  government  to  work  out,  but  a  preliminary  study 
of  and  contact  with  the  situation  would  be  valuable. 

As  the  work  is  being  carried  out  data  could  be  secured  regarding 
the  present  size  of  holdings,  the  system  of  land  tenure,  tenantry  problems, 
standards  of  living,  standards  of  production  both  per  acre  and  per  man 
power,  systems  of  rotation  practiced,  livestock  methods  and  so  on.   This 
data  could  be  assembled  and  compiled  so  as  to  serve  as  an  indicator  for 
immediate  recommendations  and  as  a  basis  for  further  study. 

Probably  $150,000  would  be  necessary  to  carry  the  work  along 
for  six  months,  outside  of  the  revolving  fund  necessary  for  the  purchase 
of  seed,  animals  and  machinery.   It  would  be  impossible  to  tell  in  advance 
just  how  much  of  this  money  would  be  needed  or  how  much  of  the  money  spent 
would  be  returned  out  of  the  crops  produced.   In  undertaking  the  work  it 
would  be  advisable  to  have  at  least  that  amount  set  aside  for  the  agricul 
tural  work  in  addition  to  the  money  needed  for  seed. 

The  men  needed  in  the  work  can  be  secured  from  the  Army,  thus 
saving  the  time  necessary  to  recruit  workers  from  the  States.   A  good 
executive,  who  is  well  acquainted  with  tractors  and  farm  machinery,  should 
be  employed  at  once  to  get  the  tractor  work  started.   Both  the  Army  and  the 
International  Harvester  Company  are  ready  to  furnish  bids  on  materials 
needed  and  no  time  should  be  lost  in  getting  the  material  moving.   An 
experienced  agronomist  should  be  sent  to  Armenia  immediately  to  rush  the 
purchase  of  seed  and  to  lay  our  plans  for  fall  work.   A  livestock  man  should 
be  employed  to  direct  the  livestock  work  and  should  leave  for  Armenia  just 
as  soon  as  plans  can  be  settled.   An  irrigation  engineer  should  also  be  sent 
as  soon  as  possible.   These  four  lines  of  work  must  be  begun  at  once  if  the 
fall  work  is  to  be  successful. 


Packard:          Mr.  Morgenthau  then  asked  me  if  I  would  be  willing  to 

make  a  quick  trip  through  Armenia  to  get  a  firsthand  picture 
of  the  problem.   He  said  that  he  would  arrange  to  send  me  to 
a  western  port  on  the  Black  Sea  where  a  British  navy  boat 
would  pick  me  up  and  take  me  across  the  Black  Sea  where  I 
would  take  a  train  for  Tbilisi.   There  I  would  be  picked  up 
by  British  motor  car  for  a  quick  trip  through  the  depressed 
farming  areas  of  Armenia  with  occasional  conferences  with 
villagers  and  officials.   I  was  to  be  back  in  Paris  in  two 
weeks  or  so. 

Baum:         Who  was  financing  this? 

Packard:      Mr.  Morgenthau. 

Baum:         Privately? 

Packard:      No.   The  money  would  come  from  the  Near  East  Relief  fund. 

Baum:         Well,  did  you  make  the  trip? 

Packard:      No.   There  was  one  delay  after  another  which  stretched  out  into 
weeks.   President  Wilson  ruled  that  nothing  could  be  done  in 
Armenia  until  a  mandate  had  been  secured  which  was  expected 
anytime.   While  I  waited  I  remained  in  Paris,  where  I  met 
with  delegations  from  Armenia ,  the  Georgian  Republic,  and 
Azerbaidzhan;   all  of  whom  wanted  American  aid. 

On  one  of  the  conferences  with  the  Armenian  group,  Dr. 
Main,  president  of  Grinnell  College  in  Iowa,  who  had  just 
returned  from  Armenia  as  President  Wilson's  personal  represent 
ative,  came  to  the  conference  to  report  on  what  he  had  seen. 
The  first  question  asked  concerned  President  Wilson's  attitude 
toward  a  U.S.  mandate.   The  second  question  and  answer  were 


Packard:     something  like  this.   "Are  the  British  troops  still  in  Armenia 
to  protect  us  from  the  Turks?"   "Yes,  they  are.   They  are 
looking  for  oil  and  if  they  find  it  they  will  always  be  there." 
(  Laughter  ) 

I  met  Knowles  Ryerson  during  this  period  and  got  him  inter 
ested  in  the  Armenian  program.   Several  others  became  inter 
ested  and  were  ready  to  join  in  the  venture.   Nothing  came 
of  it  though.   Kingsbury  went  back  to  New  York  on  some  Red 
Cross  work.   I  saw  Mr.  Morgenthau  late  in  June  at  his  request 
and  found  him  in  a  great  rush  getting  ready  to  leave  for 
Poland  where  he  was  to  serve  as  Special  Commissioner.   He 
told  me  that  Kingsbury  was  definitely  out  of  the  picture  and 
that  there  was  no  one  in  Paris  on  whom  I  could  depend.   So 
I  gave  up  the  plan  and  devoted  the  rest  of  my  time  to  seeing 
what  I  could  of  the  battlefields. 

Baum:       Mr.  Ryerson  had  gone  over  before  you,  hadn't  he? 

Packard:     Yes.   He  was  one  of  two  from  the  Extension  Service  who  had 
enlisted  when  the  United  States  got  into  the  war.   Paul 
Dougherty  was  the  other.   Knowles  went  over  as  a  forester,  with 
a  commission  as  second  lieutenant. 

Baum:       Wasn't  Professor  Ernest  Babcock  there? 

Packard:     Oh  yes,  Babcock  was  there.   Frank  Adams,  Babcock,  and  I  were 
the  three  from  the  University  sent  over  in  the  Educational 
Corps.   Frank  Adams  and  I  were  together  several  times. 


Sightseeing  in  France 

Packard:        One  evening  we  were  on  a  walk  some  distance  from  the  camp 
where  we  were  staying  to  see  one  of  the  many  cemeteries  in 
France  where  American  young  men  who  had  died  in  the  war  "to 
make  the  world  safe  for  democracy",  were  buried.   As  we  stood 
there,  hats  in  hand,  we  heard  the  camp  bugler  play  taps  a 
mile  or  so  away. 

I  spent  some  of  my  "vacation"  as  a  tourist.   I  saw  Paris 
via  the  various  tours  organized  by  the  Y.M.C.A.   I  visited 
a  country  estate  with  Frank  Adams,  and  went  on  a  wine-tasting 
tour  through  the  Burgundy  district  with  Kingsbury  and  two 
others,  again  in  an  Army  Cadillac.   I  think  it  may  be  inter 
esting  to  read  into  the  record  some  excerpts  from  letters  I 
wrote  at  that  time. 

I  left  Paris  for  Reims  at  7:30  a.m.   We  went  through 
Chateau  Thierry  and  got  to  Reims  about  noon.   We  followed 
up  the  valley  of  the  Marne  for  miles  on  the  train  and,  of 
course,  could  see  the  shell  holes  and  the  wire  entanglements, 
trenches  and  the  remains  of  destroyed  towns,  torn  trees 
and  all  the  rest.   It  seemed  strange  that  the  grass  should 
be  so  green  and  the  flowers  so  bright  in  those  fields 
where  men  were  dying  only  six  months  ago.   The  brilliant 
red  French  poppies  lined  the  trenches  and  covered  the 
barbwire--as  if  they  had  been  placed  there  on  purpose  by 
some  divine  providence.   As  we  neared  Reims  the  country 
was  more  torn  but  was  nothing  compared  to  Reims  itself. 
I  did  not  see  a  single  house  in  that  place  of  120,000 
inhabitants  that  was  not  destroyed.   Most  of  the  buildings 
were  entirely  gutted  by  fire  and  explosions  while  many 
buildings  were  simply  piles  of  stone  and  brick.   It 
reminded  me  of  the  worst  part  of  San  Francisco  after  the 
fire--I  never  before  realized  how  awful  it  must  have  been 
there  during  those  days.   When  you  see  it,  it  is  beyond 

I  started  for  the  Hindenburg  line  when  we  got  as  far 


Packard:        as  the  cars  would  take  us.   I  hadn't  gone  200  yards  before 
I  was  startled  by  an  explosion  in  the  field.   A  young 
Frenchman  had  picked  up  a  hand  grenade  which  blew  him  to 
bits.   I  saw  hundreds  of  unexploded  shells,  hand  grenades 
and  aerial  bombs,  one  fully  fifteen  inches  in  diameter, 
half -buried  in  the  ground.   It  was  hard  to  find  a  trail 
through  the  barbwire  and  required  much  climbing,  jumping, 
and  scrambling. 

When  I  reached  the  fortified  Hindenburg  lane  I  could 
hardly  believe  my  eyes.   There  were  miles  of  great  stone 
walls,  cement  and  stone  cellars,  sleeping  quarters, 
kitchens,  piles  of  shells,  hundreds  of  yards  of  machine 
gun  bullets  all  neatly  placed  in  the  canvas  belts.   Wires 
connected  all  of  the  places  so  that  phones  and  electric 
lights  could  be  placed  where  needed.   I  walked  for  a 
quarter  of  a  mile  through  a  tunnel,  stone-walled  and  lighted 
by  shafts  every  fifty  feet  or  so.   The  tunnel  was  twenty- 
five  feet  underground  and  from  it,  on  both  sides,  stretched 
great  rooms,  from  twenty  to  sixty  feet  long  and  from  twenty 
to  thirty  feet  wide.   The  effect  of  Allied  fire  was,  of 
course,  evident  and  much  of  the  work  was  rubble. 

The  following  exerpts  from  another  letter  tell  of  another 
trip  to  the  trenches  —  this  time  to  the  Soissons  area  where, 

"I  saw  the  ground  that  had  been  taken  by  the  First,  Second 
and  Thirty-fifth  Divisions.   It  was  all  so  terrible  that 
I  hate  to  think  of  it  as  it  was.   wfe  started  out  from  a 
little  town  called  Anizy,  just  beyond  Soissons  in  the  valley 
of  the  La  Vesle  river.   Chinese  workers  and  German  prisoners 
were  busy  in  the  neighborhood.   The  Y  guide  took  us  on 
a  narrow  gauge  railroad,  built  by  the  Germans,  to  a 
point  across  the  valley  where  we  separated,  each  man  going 
for  the  particular  dugout  he  preferred.   The  forest  was 
a  total  wreck.   Most  of  the  trees  were  dead  although 
brush  was  growing  up  fast.   Clogged-up  water  holes, 
fallen  logs,  barbwire  and  great  shell  craters,  half-filled 
with  water  made  going  bad.   German  helmets  were  everywhere. 
The  second  one  I  saw  still  had  the  head  in  it.   French 
and  German  rifles,  clothing,  shells,  hand  grenades  and 
mortars,  were  there.   The  trenches  followed  just  below  the 
crest  of  the  hill  where  the  dugouts  were  protected  from 
direct  shell  fire.   We  had  candles  to  use  in  going  through  the 
long,  low  rooms  of  the  dugouts.   The  old  beds,  much 
clothing,  tin  dishes,  tables  and  all  were  there.   I  explored 
a  dozen  or  so  dugouts.   Out  of  the  hundreds  of  thousands 
of  relics  I  could  have  taken,  I  carried  away   one  French 
rifle,  three  German  helmets,   one  American  and  one  French 
helmet,  three  different  kinds  of  bayonets,  an  empty  revolver 


Packard:  case,  a  half -filled  cartridge  case,  two  trench  shovels 
still  in  their  leather  cases,  an  empty  hand  grenade,  a 
German  gas  mask,  and  a  mess  kit. 

I  was  in  Versailles  the  day  that  peace  was  signed  and  had 
better  read  another  exerpt  from  a  letter  home. 

"Four  of  us—Professor  Hamilton  of  the  University  of 
South  Carolina  (History),  Professor  Newens    of  Dartmouth, 
Mr.  Johnson  of  New  York  (child  specialist),  and  I  went 
on  a  Y.M.C.A.  conducted  tour  of  Versailles.   Although 
many  special  trains  were  running  and  the  Y  had  a  special 
train  of  its  own,  the  cars  were  crowded  to  the  limit.   The 
compartment  we  were  in  usually  holds  eight  but  today  there 
were  twenty  in  it.   The  mob  at  the  front  gate  of  the 
palace  prevented  anything  but  a  distant  view  of  the  lines 
of  soldiers,  the  cavalry  with  pennants  fluttering  in  the 
wind,  with  the  airplanes  buzzing  or  roaring  overhead.   We 
therefore  went  to  the  palace  gardens  in  the  back  of  the 
palace,  passing  on  the  way  the  building  where  the  treaty 
of  1?83  was  signed  giving  us  our  independence  from  England. 

I  managed  to  get  a  ringside  seat  where  I  got  a  good 
view  of  the  crowd,  the  garden,  the  fountains  and  the 
airplanes  that  circled  overhead.   There  was  nothing  else 
to  see  until  3:30  when  the  bugles  blew,  the  cannons  roared, 
the  fountains  were  turned  on  for  the  first  time  since  the 
war.   The  crowd  cheered  and  tried  to  sing  the  Marseillaise 
in  tune  with  the  snatches  of  music  we  could  get  from  the 
band,  above  the  general  roar.   President  Wilson,  with  the 
other  heads  of  state  came  out  on  the  terrace  for  all  to 
see.   I  got  back  to  Paris  about  6  p.m.  and  was  interested 
in  seeing  the  decorations  in  the  station  in  honor  of 
President  Wilson  and  Lloyd  George,  who  leave  tonight.   A 
rich  red  carpet  was  spread  the  length  of  the  station  and 
platform.   Palms,  flags,  flowers  and  pennants  made  the 
place  look  like  a  garden.   It's  a  great  day  for  the  people 
here,  but  I'm  afraid  the  treaty  won't  accomplish  its  high 
objectives.   Tonight's  papers  say  the  British  Labor  Party 
denounces  the  treaty  as  too  harsh  on  the  Germans." 

Two  days  later  I  had  the  following  to  say  about  the 
celebration  in  Paris  the  night  that  the  peace  treaty  was  signed. 

"The  celebration  in  Paris  was  terrific.   Cannons  boomed, 
the  people  flocked  to  the  Place  de  la  Concorde  and  then  to 
the  Avenue  de  1'Opera,   back  and  forth.   It  was  just  a  moving 
mass  of  humanity.   The  Americans  and  Australians  made  most 
of  the  noise,  but  the  British,  French,  and  Italians  did 


Packard:        their  part.   Tipping  up  taxis  seemed  to  be  the  main  amuse 
ment.   At  one  point  a  British  diplomat  was  trying  to  get 
through  the  crowd  in  a  taxi.   Some  Australians  picked  up 
the  back  end,  letting  the  wheels  spin.   The  occupant,  who 
was  wearing  a  top  hat,  stuck  his  head  out  the  window  and 
waved  a  little  British  flag.   The  Aussies  reacted  by  tipping 
the  taxi  on  its  side  which  brought  cheers  from  the  crowd. 
More  cheers  followed  when  the  diplomat  emerged  with  many 
helping  hands.  (  Laughter  )   Throwing  confetti,  kissing 
the  girls  and  vice-versa,  milling  back  and  forth  in  columns 
of  four  or  racing  through  the  crowd  in  single  file, 
Y  girls,  Red  Cross  girls,  and  girls  of  the  street,  gobs 
and  doughboys,  officers  and  privates  all  joined  in  the 
carnival.   At  exactly  twelve  o'clock  the  orchestra  from 
the  opera  house  appeared  on  the  steps  and  with  the  accom 
paniment  of  thousands  of  voices  played  the  Marsiellgise,  the 
Star  Spangled  Banner,  God  Save  the  King,  and  the  Italian 
national  anthem.   A  young  private  came  up  to  me  and  said 
in  a  hoarse  voice,  "I  landed  in  France  in  October,  1917, 
and  this  is  the  happiest  day  of  my  life."  He  expressed 
the  feeling  of  everyone. 

I  stood  on  one  of  those  little  islands  in  the  middle 
of  the  street  and  caught  the  currents  going  both  ways. 
There  were  many  amusing  incidents.   One  well  dressed  and 
rather  pretty  French  girl  climbed  the  electric  light  pole 
in  the  middle  of  the  street  and  stood  on  a  Y.H.C.A.  sign 
about  twelve  feet  above  the  crowd  and  sang,  "Hail,  Hail, 
The  gang's  all  here,  etc."  A  doughboy  climbed  up  to  join 
her.   They  both  stood  there,  one  arm  around  the  pole  and 
the  other  around  each  other  and  continued  to  sing,  until 
the  sign  began  to  give  way.   The  girl  jumped  into  the 
arms  of  her  officer  companion  while  the  doughboy  slid 
down  the  pole.   It  was  a  great  night. 

During  this  time  I  presented  the  letter  of  introduction 
to  Lincoln  Steffens  which  Harriet  Eddy  gave  me  in  Berkeley. 
He  was  just  back  from  Moscow  and  was  full  of  stories  about 
the  Russian  Revolution.   I  heard  some  of  his  accounts  while 
sitting  in  his  hotel  room  while  he  had  breakfast  in  bed.   I 
accompanied  him,  my  brother-in-law,  Phil  Chadbourn,  who  happened 
to  be  in  Paris,  and  two  or  three  others  to  a  radical  party 
held  in  a  tavern  along  the  banks  of  the  Seine.   Every  nation 
in  the  world  seemed  to  be  represented.   Heavy  drinking--bottoms 


Packard:     up  sort  of  thing—was  a  cementing  influence.   I  managed  to 

find  a  corner  where  I  could  stand  and  watch.   Although  I  had 
become  accustomed  to  drinking  red  wine  with  my  meals  and  eating 
horse  meat  at  French  restaurants  I  was  not  up  to  the  standard 
set  by  this  crowd.  (  Laughter  ) 

Baum:       Was  there  a  lot  of  pro-Russia  and  anti-Russia  feeling?  Was 
that  the  excitement?  Or  was... 

Packard:    The  feeling  of  the  group  at  the  tavern  was  all  pro-Russian. 
Among  others  whom  I  met  in  France  the  feeling  was  divided, 
some  favored  the  Revolution,  others  opposed  it.   There  were 
few  neutral  among  them.   My  sister  Esther  was  in  Tsarist 
Russia  long  enough  to  recognize  the  need  for  revolutionary 
change.   Conditions  under  the  Tsar   she  thought  were  intolerable. 

Baum:       You  were  in  France  quite  a  while,  then,  after  the  war. 

Packard:    Yes,  I  was  there  about  five  months. 

Baum:       Were  Americans  popular  at  that  time? 

Packard:     Oh  yes,  they  were  —  that  is  with  most  people.   The  railroad 
officials  were  not  exactly  happy  over  the  habit  of  American 
soldiers  buying  a  ticket  to  the  first  station  out  of  Paris 
and  then  riding  all  day,  pretending  they  could  not  understand 
French.   I  encountered  one  or  two  of  those  horribly  officious 
tourist  types  who  galled  me  as  much  as  they  did  the  French. 
They  were  men  who  had  come  over  after  the  war  but  acted  as 
though  they  personally  had  saved  the  "frogs"  from  disaster. 
I  left  Paris  late  in  July  going  to  Brest  to  wait  for  ac 
commodations   on  a  transport  going  to  New  York.   I  was  one 


Packard:     of  twelve  thousand  who  returned  on  the  Emperator--an  eighty 
thousand  ton  former  German  liner  that  had  been  commandeered 
by  the  United  States.   The  passengers  included  eight  hundred 
Red  Cross  nurses  and  scores  of  French  G.I.  brides. 

On  my  way  home  I  was  with  a  very  interesting  group,  all 
returning  members  of  the  Educational  Corps.   We  all  went  to 
the  Brevoort  Hotel  for  a  celebration  and  had  quite  a  party. 
After  gathering  my  civilian  clothes  and  saying  hello  to 
my  sisters  and  others  I  went  back  to  California,  first  to 
arrange  for  my  Sabbatical  leave,  including  the  payment  of 
$150.00  a  month  allowance  I  was  to  receive,  and  second,  to 
get  the  family  ready  to  move  to  Cambridge.   It  was  tentatively 
agreed  that  I  would  return  to  the  University  of  California  as 
a  member  of  Dr.  Mead's  Department  of  Rural  Institutions. 

Baum:       So  you  hadn't  sold  any  soldiers  on  the  land  but  you  had  sold 

Packard:    Well,  yes.   I  had  been  selling  the  idea  and  I  thought  it  was 
a  good  one. 

Baum:       But  it  was  your  impression  that  most  of  the  soldiers  were  not 
in  the  least  interested  in  settling  the  land. 

Packard:     Not  in  the  least.   They  wanted  jobs.   They  wanted  something  more 
interesting  than  going  back  onto  the  farm.   As  it  turned  out, 
their  instincts,  or  maybe,  judgements,  were  better  than  the 
reasoning  of  the  theoreticians.   Millions  of  family  farm  operators 
have  moved  off  the  land  since  that  time  and  have  been  added 
to  the  industrial  working  force.   As  I  look  back  on  that 


Packard:    period  I  realize  that  the  whole  world  was  on  the  threshold 

of  a  gigantic  social  revolution  created  by  the  new  circumstances 
of  an  advancing  industrial  era. 

Baum:       Had  a  lot  of  the  soldiers  been  farmers? 

Packard:     Oh  yes,  of  course.   Many  of  them  had  come  from  farms  but  they 
were  usually  sons  of  farmers  and  did  not  have  to  look  for  new 
land,  and  those  from  urban  areas  had  no  interest  in  becoming 



Baum:       So  following  a  trip  to  Berkeley,  you  and  the  family  moved  to 
Boston  so  you  could  prepare  yourself  to  work  with  Dr.  Mead 
at  the  University  in  the  Department  of  Rural  Institutions. 
As  I  recall,  that  was  a  pretty  hectic  period  in  Massachusetts, 
one  which  gave  us  our  next  President  of  the  United  States. 
Packard:        Yes.   When  we  got  to  Boston,  the  famous  police  strike  was 
on  in  full  force.   The  station  was  full  of  soldiers  ordered  in 
by  Governor  Coolidge.   The  whole  city  was  under  martial  law 
which  created  quite  a  dramatic  entrance  for  us. 

We  took  a  streetcar  to  Cambridge  and  soon  located  a  house 
that  seemed  to  meet  our  needs.   But  it  was  coal  heated  and  when 
the  cold  weather  set  in  we  found  that  it  would  heat  only  the 
kitchen  adequately  regardless  of  the  tons  of  coal  we  fed  into 
the  furnace.  (  Laughter  )   After  four  months  of  this  we  moved 
to  an  upstairs  apartment  in  a  300-year-old  colonial-type  house 
in  remarkably  good  condition.   We  lived  there  for  the  balance 
of  our  stay  in  Cambridge. 

An  Irish  family  had  bought  this  house  and  had  reconditioned 
it  with  two  upstairs  apartments.   One  thing  we  liked  was  that 
a  "For  Rent"  sign  outside  said,  "Children  are  Welcome."  A 
young  couple  occupied  the  other  upstairs  apartment.   He  was  an 
English  major,  who  was  both  teaching  and  studying  under  Dr. 
Kittredge,  a  famous  professor  of  English  at  Harvard. 


Packard:        Emmy  Lou  started  first  grade  at  the  Agassiz  school  at 

Cambridge.   It  was  a  favorite  school  for  many  of  the  children 
of  Harvard  professors.   It  was  presided  over  by  a  wonderful 
Negro  woman  principal.   She  was  a  good  administrator  and  had 

a  wonderful  understanding  of  children.   When  she  died  of  cancer 


a  few  years  later,  a  monument  to  her  was  erected  in  the  school 
yard  paid  for  by  contributions  from  the  hundreds  who  knew  and 
admired  her. 

Baum:       When  you  went  to  Harvard  you  were  a  student? 

Packard:     Yes,  I  was  a  graduate  student  in  economics.   I  was  officially 
under  the  direction  of  Dr.  Thomas  Nixon  Carver,  because  he 
was  an  agricultural  economist  and  that  was  to  be  my  field. 
But  in  practice,  I  was  far  more  influenced  by  Dr.  Frank  Taussig, 
under  whom  I  took  my  first  real  course  in  economic  theory. 
I  took  a  course  in  statistics  under  Dr.  Day  whom  I  admired 
very  much  although  I  had  more  difficulty  in  his  classes  than 
in  others  because  I  had  to  brush  up  on  mathematics  which  was 
not  my  forte.   I  also  began  a  course  in  marketing  in  the 
Harvard  School  of  Business  Administration  but  dropped  it 
when  I  became  a  tutor  which  required  more  time  than  I  had , 
if  I  were  to  keep  up  in  my  other  courses. 

I  was  fascinated  with  everything  I  was  learning. 

Baum:       Maybe  you'd  always  been  interested  in  economics  rather  than  in 
agriculture . 

Packard:     Yes  and  no.   I  think  I  developed  a  comprehension  of  economics 
as  a  science  that  I  had  never  had  before.   I  can  repeat  what 


Packard:     I  said  previously  that  I  was  a  slow  developer.   I  was  aware 

of  many  social  problems  but  the  courses  I  had  had  in  economics 
and  philosophy  at  Ames  and  Stanford  left  me  cold.   I  said 
previously,  too,  that  I  had  become  a  socialist  at  Stanford 
but  I  realize  now  that  it  was  more  an  emotional  reaction  to 
social  injustice  and  political  corruption  of  which  I  had 
become  aware  than  a  comprehension  of  a  new  social  order.   Terms 
which  I  had  used  began  to  be  defined  in  my  mind  and  I  developed 
a  sense  of  security  in  knowledge  that  I  had  never  had  before. 
This  may  have  been  rooted  in  some  psychological  reaction  based 
on  the  fact  that  the  religious  beliefs  and  dogma  that  had  been 
so  much  a  part  of  my  up-bringing  had  evolved  and  changed. 
Perhaps  it  was  like  this:   I  had  retained  the  emotional  reaction 
to  problems  affecting  man's  relationship  to  man  that  I  had 
developed  as  a  result  of  my  early  training  and  was  beginning 
to  understand  something  of  the  science  of  behavior. 

I  have  gone  through  a  somewhat  similar  metamorphosis  in 
my  interest  in  agriculture.   I  was  originally  attracted  by 
the  life  on  a  farm.   When  I  was  serving  as  superintendent  of 
the  Imperial  Valley  Experiment  Farm  I  found  that  I  was  far 
more  interested  in  the  production  end  than  in  doing  the  pain 
staking  work  required  in  basic  research  and  experimentation. 
After  two  years  in  Extension  work  I  began  to  realize  that  the 
principal  problems  facing  the  farmer  were  economic  rather  than 
technical.   After  gaining  more  knowledge  in  the  economic  field 
and  after  trying  to  apply  that  knowledge  in  land  settlement 


Packard:     work,  I  began  to  realize  that  economics  are  but  a  means  to  an 
end  and  that  the  end  is  in  the  realm  of  philosophy. 

But  to  get  back  to  Harvard.   The  first  day  in  my  course 
in  the  principles  of  economics,  Dr.  Taussig  discussed  single 
tax.   I  had  had  a  feeling  that  there  was  something  subversive 
about  the  idea,  and  was  surprised  to  hear  Dr.  Taussig  say  that 
the  greatest  objection  to  single  tax  was  that  it  had  not 
been  adopted  in  the  beginning.   Because  it  had  not  been  adopted, 
vast  vested  interests  had  been  established  which  offered  difficult 
barriers  to  overcome.   This  gave  me  a  certain  feeling  of  confidence 
in  the  value  of  basic  economic  analysis.   Some  days  later,  when 
the  question  of  our  invasion  of  Russia  was  raised,  Dr.  Taussig 
said  that  what  was  going  on  in  Russia  was  an  extremely  interesting 
social  experiment  which  we  should  watch  with  interest,  while 
being  glad  that  the  experiment  was  being  tried  in  Russia  rather 
than  here.   Ever  since  that  time  I  have  adopted  Dr.  Taussig 's 
viewpoint  toward  communism.   A  third  statement  made  by  both 
Professors  Taussig  and  Carver  which  deeply  affected  my  thinking 
was  that  the  next  big  field  in  economics  would  concern  the 

In  retrospect,  I  consider  my  year  under  Dr.  Hilgard  and 
Professor  Etcheverry  at  the  University  of  California  and  the 
year  under  Doctors  Taussig  and  Carver  at  Harvard  University 
to  be  the  most  formative  periods  of  my  life. 

I  was  very  much  impressed  with  Dr.  Taussig 's  technique 
in  making  students  think.   He  would  lead  the  class  through 


Packard:     a  series  of  what  appeared  to  be  obvious  truths  and  would  get 
everyone  to  agree  that  a  seemingly  obvious  conclusion  was 
correct.   When  no  one  objected  he  would  raise  some  simple  point 
which  instantly  showed  that  the  reasoning  was  wrong  and  the 
conclusions  unfounded.   He  employed  this  technique  several  times 
during  the  year  and  would  end  each  time  by  saying,  "I  want 
you  to  think.   I  don't  want  you  to  go  out  of  here  without 
the  ability  to  question  conclusions  and  to  analyze  the  facts. 
You  will  get  just  as  high  a  grade  here  whether  you  agree  with 
me  or  not  provided  you  back  your  statements  by  properly  reasoned 
analysis . " 

Within  two  weeks  or  so  after  entering  Harvard  I  was  employed 
as  a  tutor  at  $50.00  per  month,  an  assignment  which  I  could 
carry  without  interfering  with  my  main  purpose.   I  was  to 
meet  with  a  small  group  of  students  once  a  week  for  general 
discussions  and  assignment  of  reading.   The  purpose  was  to 
enlarge  the  students'  horizon. 

Baum:       Did  you  meet  with  them  individually  or  was  this  like  a  teaching 

Packard:     I  met  with  the  group  but  was  to  give  individual  assignments. 

Baum:       We  have  teaching  assistants  here  at  Cal. 

Packard:    Yes,  I  know,  but  the  two  systems  are  not  alike.   The  respon 
sibilities  of  the  teaching  assistants  and  the  tutor  are  not 
the  same.   The  tutors  had  no  responsibility  concerning  class 
work,  correcting  papers  and  the  like. 

Baum:       A  little  more  personal  attention  than  you  get  here  at  Cal. 


Packard:     Yes,  much  more.   The  tutor,  in  a  sense,  served  as  the  students' 
advisor.   The  responsibility  was  new  to  me  but  I  must  have 
done  well  enough  because  Dr.  Taussig  recommended  me  for  a 
job  as  instructor  in  economic  theory  at  Massachusetts  Institute 
of  Technology  for  the  spring  semester,  an  assignment  which 
I  thoroughly  enjoyed.   I  had  one  hundred  and  twenty-five 
sophomore  engineers.   I  assumed  this  responsibility  in  addition 
to  remaining  as  tutor  at  Harvard. 

I  might  say  that  these  two  jobs  helped  me  financially. 
The  tutorial  job  made  me  a  member  of  the  faculty  which  saved 
me  $600.00  in  tuition,  while  the  pay  I  was  getting  from  Harvard 
and  M.I.T.,  when  added  to  my  sabbatical  pay,  brought  my 
income  way  above  any  salary  that  I  had  received  before. 

Dr.  Taussig  must  have  thought  he  had  a  budding  economic 
genius  in  me,  because  on  three  occasions  when  he  was  in 
Washington  on  some  Commission  business,  he  asked  me  to  take 
his  class  which  included  some  Rhodes  scholars  and  several 
economists  who  had  returned  to  college  to  catch  up  on  current 
thinking.   I  must  have  passed  the  test  because  I  was  urged 
several  times  to  consider  an  offer  to  remain  at  Harvard  as  an 
instructor  while  getting  a  Ph.D.  degree. 

I  have  often  wondered  what  would  have  happened  to  me  if 
I  had  accepted  that  offer.   I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  I 
made  the  right  decision  in  turning  the  offer  down.   Just  as  in 
the  case  of  the  Experiment  Station  job  where  I  was  more  inter 
ested  in  the  farmer's  problems  and  in  production,  rather  than 


Packard : 


Mrs.    : 

in  research;   I  was  more  interested  in  getting  into  an  action 
field  than  in  teaching.   I  had  been  offered  the  job  as  super 
intendent  of  the  second  State  Land  Settlement  project  in  Delhi, 
California,  which,  in  a  sense,  combined  my  interest  in  economics 
and  agriculture.   So  I  accepted.   I  have  had  a  lot  of  hard 
knocks  as  a  result  of  this  decision  but  I  have  gained  some 
knowledge  and  experience  regarding  human  behavior  which  I  feel 
has  been  very  valuable  to  me. 

The  winter  we  spent  in  Cambridge  was  unusually  cold  and 
there  was  an  unusually  heavy  snowfall.   This,  of  course,  delighted 
the  two  girls  who  had  never  seen  snow  before.   We  made  family 
trips  to  places  like  Plymouth  Rock,  Salem  and  Concord,  and 
tried  to  find  traces  of  the  ancestry  of  the  Packard  and  Leonard 
families,  both  of  which  came  from  New  England. 
Did  you  find  many  relatives  there? 

No  living  relatives  but  some  interesting  tomb  stones.  (  Laughter  ) 
Because  Walter  was  on  the  faculty  and  was  a  visiting  professor 
I  became  a  member  of  the  Harvard  Dames,  the  wives  of  professors, 
and  another  faculty  group  made  up  of  wives  of  visiting  professors. 

I  remember  going  to  one  of  these  Harvard  Dames  meetings 
where  the  advertised  speaker  wasn't  able  to  come,  so  they 
got  one  of  the  members  of  the  club  who  was  from  an  old,  old 
family  and  she  gave  a  talk  about  her  family.   Well,  to  me, 
coming  from  the  Middle  West,  it  struck  me  as  a  very  egotistical 
thing  to  do  because  nobody  would  dream  about  standing  and 
entertaining  a  crowd  about  their  own  family.   And  her  tale 






Mrs.    : 

was  that  she  went  to  this  cemetery  and  that  cemetery,  and  she 
found  the  family  names  there.   And  it  was  of  great  interest  to 
the  local  group. 

Well,  it  can  be  very  fascinating.   Of  course  you  had  your 
Packard  genealogy  by  that  time,  didn't  you? 
Oh  yes. 

I  guess  you  could  stand  up  with  all  of  them  if  they  wanted  to 
talk  about  genealogy.  (  Laughter  ) 

I  think  Emma  and  I  had  more  standing  because  we  came  from 
the  University  of  California  than  because  of  ancestry.   But 
the  fact  that  both  of  our  families  were  connected  in  signif 
icant  ways  with  the  history  of  the  colonial  period  didn't 
hurt.   The  University  of  California  had  a  high  rating  at 

It  would  be  a  mistake  to  end  this  chapter  without  saying 
more  about  the  rather  exciting  atmosphere  during  the  time  we 
were  in  Cambridge.   The  Palmer  raids  were  on  and  Emma  was  able 
to  attend  some  of  the  "red"  trials  in  Boston. 
At  the  trial  they  brought  up  those  young  people  who  had  been 
arrested  in  that  raid  —  the  police  went  into  homes  early  one 
morning  and  rounded  up  hundreds  of  them.   And  I  remember  going 
to  a  meeting  where  Felix  Frankfurter,  a  young  man  then  in 
Harvard,  was  one  of  the  men  who  conducted  the  hearing.   The 
only  one  I  remember  was  a  big,  fine  looking  young  man  with 
a  long  full  beard  and  they  kept  after  him.   He  spoke  broken 
English  and  they  kept  asking  him  about  his  connections.   He 


Mrs.    : 

Packard ; 


had  on  a  red  necktie  and  they  said,  "Do  you  wear  a  red  necktie 
because  of  the  Revolution?"  And  his  reply  was,  "I  do  not 
understand  revolutions  by  necktie."  (  Laughter  ) 
What  were  these  raids  about? 

It  was  an  hysterical  period.   There  was  a  general  fear  of  a 
Marxist  red  plot  to  overthrow  the  government.   The  police 
strike  in  Boston  added  a  sense  of  reality  which  frightened 
many.   The  Allied  armies  were  attacking  Russia  and  Wilson 
was  fighting  for  his  League  of  Nations.   "Back  to  Normalcy" 
became  the  general  slogan.   Probably  the  most  exciting  meeting 
I  have  ever  attended  was  held  in  Faneuil  Hall  when  Raymond 
Robins,   who  had  just  returned  from  a  Red  Cross  assignment  in 
Russia,  told  of  his  experiences. 

In  a  letter  to  my  mother  dated  November  20,  1919,  I  wrote 
the  following  account: 

"Last  week  on  Armistice  night  we  attended  a  meeting 
in  Faneuil  Hall  protesting  against  intervention  in  Russia. 
We  knew  it  would  be  largely  attended  so  we  went  about 
6:30  p.m.  and  arrived  at  the  doors  an  hour  before  the 
meeting  was  to  begin.   We  couldn't  get  within  twenty  feet 
of  the  doors  which  weren't  open  yet.   So  we  got  as  near 
as  we  could  and  waited  half  an  hour  more.   By  that  time  the 
crowd  had  gathered  another  twenty  feet  behind  us  and  when  the 
doors  opened  they  began  to  push!   I  never  was  in  such  a  jam 
in  my  life  and  hope  I  never  will  be  again.   Luckily  I  was 
tall  enough  not  to  have  all  the  breath  squeezed  out  of  me 
as  some  of  the  small  women  did.   They  screamed  and  begged 
the  crowd  not  to  push,  but  no  one  stopped.   I  went  only 
about  an  inch  a  minute  but  I  was  puffing  and  blowing  from 
the  squeezing  I  got  when  I  finally  got  into  the  doors.   My 
arm  was  so  pinched  in  that  it  went  to  sleep.   The  papers 
said  thousands  were  turned  away  and  I  don't  doubt  it.   My 
umbrella  was  smashed  from  the  pulling  and  hauling  but  I'm 
thankful  that  it  wasn't  my  ribs  which  got  broken. 


Mrs.    :  Raymond  Robins,   head  of  the  Red  Cross  in  Russia  was 

Packard         the  principal  speaker  and  it  was  the  most  thrilling  address 
that  I  have  ever  heard.   About  seventy-five  per  cent  of 
the  audience  were  Russians  and  the  rest  in  sympathy,  judging 
from  the  applause.   He  spoke  for  an  hour  and  a  half  and 
told  things  that  should  make  every  American  ashamed  of  the 
part  we  have  played  in  Russia.   Harvard  Crimson,  the 
daily  college  paper,  has  protested  to  President  Wilson 
asking  him  to  take  troops  out  of  Russia  at  once.   To  hear 
a  man  begging  for  human  rights  in  the  old  hall  that  saw 
such  stirring  times  in  our  own  Revolution  was  quite  strange. 


Left  to  right:  Walter  E.  Packard,  Superintendent  of  Delhi  Land  Settlement;  Dr.  Elwood  Mead, 
chief  of  Division  of  Land  Settlement;  George  C.  Kreutzer,  Superintendent  of  Durham  Land 
Settlement.   July,  1921 



Beginnings  of  the  State  Land  Settlement  Board  and  the  Durham 
and  Delhi  Land  Settlement  Projects  * 

Packard:        Although  I  had  expected  to  return  to  the  University  of 
California  as  an  Associate  Professor  in  the  Department  of 
Rural  Institutions  when  I  finished  my  work  at  Harvard,  I  was 
offered  instead  the  position  as  superintendent  of  the  Delhi 
Land  Settlement  Project—an  appointment  which  I  readily  accepted 
because  I  wanted  to  be  in  an  action  program.   I  was  in  fact 
quite  intrigued  by  the  opportunity  I  felt  the  job  presented. 

Baum:       Now  you  got  there  in...? 

Packard:    July,  1920. 

Baum:       That  was  a  very  bad  economic  year,  as  I  remember.   The  bottom 
fell  out  of  the  rice  market  and  the  sugar  market. 

Packard:     Yes,  it  was  a  bad  year,  but  what  is  still  more  important  is 

that  it  was  the  beginning  of  the  great  agricultural  depression 
which  continued  until  World  War  II  brought  back  the  demand 
for  farm  products.   This  fact  illustrates  one  of  the  weaknesses 
of  the  whole  approach  to  the  farm  problem.   There  was  no  adequate 
statistical  background  on  which  to  base  the  sort  of  planning 
that  was  needed.   The  Mead  plan  was  being  written  up  in  national 
magazines  as  the  answer  to  an  assumed  demand  of  people  for 
farms  in  the  West. 

Baum:       Was  this  designed  primarily,  do  you  think,  as  an  answer  to 

*  See  ROHO  interview,  "A  Life  in  Water  Development",  Sidney 
T.  Harding,  1967,  pp.  186-204. 


Baum:       settlement  in  California  or  was  it  primarily  to  help  veterans? 

Packard:     It  was  primarily  settlement  in  California,  although  the  Delhi 
Project  was  used  in  part  to  provide  farms  for  veterans. 

Baum:       Veterans  were  secondary? 

Packard:     Yes,  the  veterans  were  a  secondary  consideration.   Ever  since 
the  days  of  Henry  George,  land  speculation  had  played  a  bad 
role  in  the  state.   Poor  land  and  land  without  adequate  water 
had  been  sold  to  unsuspecting  settlers  at  exorbitant  prices. 
It  was  thought  by  those  who  favored  the  Mead  plan  that  the 
mistakes  and  swindles  of  the  past  could  be  avoided  by  having 
the  State  Land  Settlement  Board  establish  a  series  of  land 
settlement  projects  where  the  interests  of  both  the  public  and 
the  settlers  would  be  protected.   It  was  thought  also  that 
these  demonstrations  of  how  things  should  be  done  would 
affect  future  private  development. 

The  nature  of  the  circumstances  which  led  to  the  estab 
lishment  of  the  State  Land  Settlement  Board  and  the  nature 
of  the  planning  which  preceeded  the  selection  of  land  settlement 
sites  are  interesting  in  retrospect.   In  1915  the  State  Legis 
lature  passed  an  Act  providing  for  the  establishment  of  a 
Land  Settlement  and  Rural  Credits  Board  to  make  a  report  to 
the  legislature  regarding  the  situation  existing  in  the  state 
at  that  time.   Elwood  Mead,  who  was  then  in  Australia,  was 
called  back  by  the  University  of  California  and  was  appointed 
Chairman  of  this  Board  which  included,  among  others,  Harris 
Weinstock  a  business  partner  of  David  Lubin,  and  an  internationally 


Packard:     known  leader  in  agricultural  thought,  and  Mortimer  Fleishhacker , 
a  prominent  banker  in  San  Francisco. 

Baum:       I  notice  that  Arthur  M.  Breed  was  the  man  who  sponsored  the 
Land  Settlement  Act.   Do  you  know  what  his  interest  was  in 

Packard:    Mr.  Breed  was  an  outstanding  State  Senator  from  Oakland.   He 
was  sincerely  interested  in  the  land  problem  and  remained  a 
staunch  supporter  of  the  program  during  my  period  as  superin 
tendent  at  Delhi. 

Baum:       Was  Mead  an  Australian? 

Packard:     No.   He  had  gone  there  as  a  leading  reclamation  engineer  with 
wide  experience  in  the  Western  States. 

Baum:       I  know  he'd  done  a  lot  of  work  in  Australia. 

Packard:     It  was  in  Australia  where  he  developed  his  land  settlement 
plan.   When  Thomas  F.  Hunt  became  head  of  the  College  of 
Agriculture  of  the  University  of  California,  he  immediately 
took  an  interest  in  the  land  problem  and  invited  Dr.  Mead  to 
come  to  California  to  head  the  new  Department  of  Rural  Instit 

A  commission  held  hearings  in  various  parts  of  the  state 
and  presented  a  report  to  the  Legislature  which  resulted  in 
the  establishment  of  the  State  Marketing  Director's  office  and 
the  passage  of  the  Land  Settlement  Act,  which  authorized  the 
creation  of  the  State  Land  Settlement  Board,  with  an  initial 
appropriation  of  $250,000.00  to  purchase  land  for  a  demonstration 
project.   The  Board  advertised  for  tracts  of  land  and  had 


Packard:     eighty  offers.   Professor  Charles  Shaw,  head  of  the  Soils 

Department  of  the  University  was  asked  to  examine  and  report 
on  the  soil  conditions  in  each  tract.   Professor  Frank  Adams 
was  asked  to  examine  the  water  supply  and  legal  rights  to  water, 
and  Dean  Thomas  F.  Hunt  and  R.  L.  Adams,  Head  of  the  Farm 
Management  Department  of  the  University  were  asked  to  work 
with  the  Board  in  the  final  selection  of  sites.   The  Delhi 
tract  was  included  in  this  first  list. 

The  first  demonstration  settlement  was  located  at  Durham 
because  it  was  relatively  small  and  could  be  financed  under 
the  initial  appropriation  of  $250,000.00.   The  price  of  farm 
products  was  high  at  that  time  and  there  was  sufficient  demand 
for  land  to  enable  the  Board  to  fill  the  colony  with  an  experien 
ced  class  of  settlers  with  sufficient  money  of  their  own  to 
meet  their  obligation  with  minimum  help  from  the  state. 

Baum:       Was  the  Durham  settlement  started  before  or  after  the  war? 

Did  they  have  a  majority  of  veterans,  is  what  I  am  trying  to 
find  out. 

Packard:     No.   The  Durham  colony  was  started  before  the  end  of  the  war 

and  before  the  drop  in  farm  prices.   No  veterans  were  involved. 
The  Durham  settlement  was  immediately  successful  under  George 
Kreutzer's  good  management,  which  included  a  rare  ability  to 


understand  the  settlers'  problems  and  inner  feelings.   There 
seemed  to  be  no  good  reason  for  not  starting  the  second  project 
as  soon  as  possible. 

*Mrs .  George  Kreutzer  is  planning  to  write  a  biography  of  her 
husband,  especially  his  work  in  California  agriculture,  and  it 
is  planned  to  deposit  this  in  the  Bancroft  Library.   Letter 
from  Dorothy  Kreutzer  to  Mrs.  Baum,  July  22,  1969. 


Selection  of  the  Delhi  Site 

Packard:        The  initial  success  at  Durham  together  with  the  anticipated 
demand  for  land  by  returned  soldiers  seemed  to  justify  the 
establishment  of  a  second  colony.   An  appropriation  of 
$1,000,000.00  was  made  to  carry  out  the  idea.   The  Board 
again  advertised  for  land  and  the  Delhi  property  was  one  of 
ten  offerings  which  possessed  good  soil  and  a  good  water  supply. 
Being  located  in  the  Turlock  Irrigation  District  with  an 
excellent  water  supply  and  being  crossed  by  the  state  highway 
and  both  the  Southern  Pacific  and  Santa  Fe  tracks,  it  was 
obviously  well  located.   In  order  to  determine  the  value  of 
the  land,  a  survey  was  made  of  three  hundred  farms  in  the  area. 
The  price  of  land  ranged  from  $200.00  to  $2,000.00  per  acre 
with  an  average  of  $600.00 

On  the  basis  of  these  facts  the  Delhi  land  was  purchased 
and  development  began  in  the  spring  of  1920.   The  7,000  acre 
tract  was  owned  by  Mr.  Edgar  Wilson  of  San  Francisco  and  certain 
associates,  including  Mr.  Seagraves  who  was  in  charge  of  land 
development  for  the  Santa  Fe  railroad.   The  average  price 
paid  for  the  land  was  $92.50  per  acre.   It  was  producing 
practically  no  revenue.   Some  of  the  land  was  planted  to  barley 
and  rye  by  tenants  but  the  yields  were  very  low  without  irrig 
ation.   The  land  not  in  grains  was  rented  for  sheep  pasture. 
Charles  Shaw,  head  of  the  Soils  Department  of  the  College  of 
Agriculture  and  in  charge  of  the  soil  survery  work  in  the 


Packard:     state,  made  a  careful  study  of  the  soils  to  determine  their 
productive  value  under  irrigation.   Results,  over  the  years, 
have  proved  his  judgement  to  be  sound. 

Baum:       $92.50  an  acre  for  undeveloped  land?  Wasn't  that  at  developed 
land  prices? 

Packard:     No.   The  price  was  high  for  undeveloped  land,  but  Professor 
R.  L.  Adams,  head  of  the  Farm  Management  Division  of  the 
University,  made  a  study  of  land  prices  in  the  area  previously 
referred  to,  and  found  the  price  of  developed  land  to  be 
comparable  to  the  cost  of  Delhi  land  when  all  costs  were  included. 
When  you  add  to  the  $92.50  cost  per  acre  for  the  raw  land,  the 
cost  of  the  pipe  line  that  had  to  be  developed  to  deliver 
water  on  to  this  sandy  land — and  another  thirty  or  forty  dollars 
an  acre  to  level  the  land,  another  twenty  to  fifty  or  sixty 
dollars  an  acre  for  essential,  but  minimum,  buildings  the 
total  investment  came  to  over  $400.00  per  acre,  without 
including  the  cost  of  planting  trees,  and  vines,  or  buying 
a  dairy  herd,  or  meeting  the  costs  of  family  living  during  the 
development  period.   But  when  all  of  these  costs  are  added 
together  they  were  not  above  the  market  price  of  developed  land 
in  the  area.   Even  if  the  land  had  been  secured  at  a  lower 
price  it  would  have  made  no  difference  in  the  final  outcome. 

Baum:       I  suppose  both  the  Santa  Fe  and  the  Southern  Pacific  were 

interested  in  this  development.   I  think  they  are  always  inter 
ested  in  settlement  along  their  lines,  aren't  they? 

Packard:     Oh  yes.   The  Southern  Pacific  showed  its  confidence  by  building 


Packard:     a  station  at  Delhi  and  by  installing  side  tracks  for  freight 
cars . 

Some  of  the  land  was  already  included  in  the  Turlock 
Irrigation  District  but  the  land  was  so  rolling  that  it  was 
impossible  to  irrigate  all  of  it  by  gravity  water.   The  area 
not  originally  in  the  district  was  brought  in  later.   All  of 
this  new  land  was  above  the  gravity  ditch  of  the  Turlock  District 
and  had  to  be  reached  by  pumping.   As  a  result  of  the  rolling 
character  of  the  topography,  a  cement  pipe  system  was  developed 
for  the  entire  area.   The  pipes  ranged  from  thirty  inches  in 
diameter  to  as  little  as  six  inches.   Some  of  the  system  was 
under  high  pressure  which  required  the  installation  of  some 
rather  high  surge  chambers  to  prevent  damage  from  what  is  known 
as  water-hammer. 

Baum:       Was  this  gravity  flow  for  most  of  the  project? 

Packard:     Yes,  for  most  of  it. 

Baum:       Was  this  land  bought  because  it  was  the  only  block  of  land 
that  was  large  enough? 

Packard:     No.   Size  was  not  the  only  factor.   The  tract  was  purchased 
only  after  a  state-wide  search  for  a  suitable,  undeveloped 
area.   The  Board  decided  that  the  Wilson  property  was  the  best 
that  had  been  offered. 

Baum:       You  don't  think  there  was  any  collusion  between  the  Board  and 
the  owner? 

Packard:     No,  I  am  sure  there  was  not.   I  feel  quite  sure  however  that 
the  Wilson  group  thought  they  had  put  something  over  on  the 


Packard:     Board,  because  of  a  statement  made  to  me  by  Seagrave's  nephew 
at  a  chance  meeting  in  Yosemite  Valley.   He  said,  "They  sure 
put  it  over  on  the  old  man  (Mead)  didn't  they?"   It  seemed  quite 
evident  that  he  was  reflecting  the  attitude  his  uncle  had 
toward  the  deal. 

But,  in  retrospect,  you  go  back  to  the  fact  that  the  Board, 
after  looking  over  all  the  available  locations  they  could  find 
in  the  state  didn't  find  anything  better  than  the  Delhi  property 
for  price,  water  supply,  location,  and  soil.   One  fact  is 
evident  however.   The  state  was  not  able  to  buy  land  without 
paying  for  increments  in  value,  which  from  a  basic  social 
standpoint  should  have  gone  to  the  state  rather  than  to  Wilson, 
et  al,  as  land  speculators. 

In  retrospect,  again,  the  error  made  by  the  Board  was  not 
in  the  selection  of  the  land.   The  area,  in  1965,  is  one  of 
the  most  prosperous  agricultural  areas  of  the  state.   The 
error  was  in  judging  the  nature  of  the  times.   The  trend 
in  both  the  state  and  the  nation  had  been  away  from  small  farms 
and  toward  larger  mechanized  units  and  toward  a  planned  control 
of  production.   The  whole  agricultural  philosophy  seems  to  me 
to  be  confused.   A  new  philosophy  will,  I  believe,  emerge, 
based  upon  new  ideas  of  some  kind,  an  idea  that  I  will  expand 
toward  the  end  of  this  biography. 

Improving  the  Land 
Packard:        The  engineering  on  the  project  was  competently  carried  out. 


Packard:     The  many  miles  of  pipe  that  had  to  be  used  were  made  on  the 
project  in  a  large  pipe  shed  built  for  the  purpose.   Milo 
Williams,  a  college  friend  of  mine  at  Ames,  was  chief  engineer. 
Ernest  Fortier,  son  of  Dr.  Samuel  Fortier,  the  first  Chief 
of  the  Irrigation  Investigation  Office  of  the  U.S.  Department 
of  Agriculture,  was  in  charge  of  the  pipe  making  and  installation. 
He  had  been  active  in  this  field  for  some  years  and  was  a 
recognized  expert.   Detailed  topographical  maps  were  made  of 
the  entire  area  and  each  settler  was  given  a  topographical  map 
of  his  allotment  to  serve  as  a  guide  in  laying  out  the  irrig 
ation  system. 

We  used  settlers  on  the  work  wherever  possible  in  order 
to  give  them  much  needed  employment  during  the  non-income 
development  period.   They  were  used  in  digging  trenches  for 
the  pipe,  in  hauling  pipe  to  the  field,  and  in  leveling  land 
which  was  still  done  with  the  use  of  four-horse  Fresno  Scrapers. 

Baum:       Who  did  the  work  of  making  the  pipe? 

Packard:    A  group  of  Yugoslavs  were  employed  as  individual  workers. 

But  most  of  the  people  who  were  actually  working  in  the  pipes 
were  Yugoslavs. 

Baum:       Were  they  settlers? 

Packard:     No.   Quite  a  number  of  settlers  were  employed  in  the  pipe 
shed  too.   But  the  technical  work  was  mostly  done  by  these 
Yugoslavs  who  were  experienced  in  handling  the  pipe  machines 
and  that  sort  of  thing. 

Baum:       Were  they  local  people? 


Packard:     No. 

Baum:  Just  cement  workers  that  went  around  the  country  doing  that 
kind  of  work. 

Packard:    As  superintendent  I  backed  the  engineers  in  the  interest  of 
efficiency  and  low  costs.   As  a  result,  the  pipe  system  was 
installed  at  a  cost  appreciably  below  the  cost  in  any  private 
project  in  the  state  at  that  time.  John  Jahn  was  in  charge  of  all 
land  surveys  and  in  making  subdivisions  according  to  plans 
made  by  the  engineers  and  approved  by  me  and  Kreutzer. 

Baum:       Is  this  the  lowest  for  pipe  or  the  lowest  for  irrigation? 

Packard:    The  lowest  cost  per  acre  in  the  irrigated  area. 

Baum:       Because  isn't  a  pipe  system  much  more  expensive  than  a  ditch 

Packard:  Oh,  yes.  But  I  meant  the  lowest  pipe  system.  There  was  no 
other  pipe  system  in  the  state  at  that  time  that  was  put  in 
at  as  low  a  per  acre  cost  as  the  system  at  Delhi. 

Baum:       And  why  was  the  pipe  selected?  Was  it  necessary  to  put  in 
a  pipe? 

Packard:     The  pipe  system  was  used  for  two  reasons.   So  much  of  the  land 
was  rolling  that  it  was  necessary  to  use  pipes  to  get  water 
to  isolated  high  areas.   In  the  second  place  the  sandy  soil 
was  so  porous  that  open  earth  ditches  could  not  be  used  because 
of  drainage  problems.   Even  as  it  was,  seepage  from  the  main 
Turlock  District  ditch  and  over-irrigation  raised  the  ground 
water  level  in  several  low  places  to  a  point  where  water  stood 
on  the  surface  in  limited  areas.   This  problem  was  met  by 


Packard:     installing  large  pumps  in  the  wet  areas  to  pump  the  excess 
water  into  the  pipe  lines. 

Planning  the  Town  of  Delhi 

Packard:        The  Delhi  townsite  was  planned  by  Professor  John  William 
Gregg,  then  head  of  the  Landscape  Division  of  the  College  of 
Agriculture.   The  planning  followed  the  latest  ideas  of  the 
time.   The  town  was  zoned  into  residential,  business,  and 
industrial  sections.   Land  was  set  aside  for  a  town  park  ad 
joining  the  schoolyard.   The  park  area  was  to  be  located 
across  the  S.P.  tracks  to  avoid  a  ribbon  development  of  garages 
and  the  like  along  the  highway.   But,  as  the  old  saying  goes, 
there  is  many  a  slip  between  the  cup  and  the  lip.   The  town 
plans  were  poorly  executed.   Now,  as  you  drive  down  the  highway, 
Delhi  presents  a  very  bad  impression.   One  factor  not  anticip 
ated  in  the  plan  has  been  the  influx  of  migrants  from  Oklahoma 
and  Texas  whose  shacks  present  a  look  of  poverty  in  sharp 
contrast  to  the  prosperity  of  the  farming  community. 

Baum:       So  the  town  was  planned  as  a  center  for  a  larger  rural  group 
than  just  the  community  of  Delhi. 

Packard:     Yes,  that  is  true.   It  was  to  be  a  model  residential  town. 

Mr.  Wilson  donated  $10,000.00  to  build  a  community  hall  which 
was  named  after  him.   Professor  Gregg  used  the  Delhi  plan 
in  his  classes  to  illustrate  the  principle  of  town  planning. 
If  the  plan  had  been  properly  executed,  Delhi  could  have  been 
a  delightful  rural  village. 


Packard:        The  roads  throughout  the  colony  were  graveled  by  the 

County  Board  of  Supervisors.   The  cost  of  this  work  was  not 
charged  against  the  settlers  but  was  paid  for  by  the  County 
taxes.   The  graveling  was  necessary  because  of  the  sandy 
character  of  the  soil. 

Two-Acre  Laborer's  Allotments 

Packard:        A  special  feature  of  the  Delhi  plan  called  for  the  establish 
ment  of  two-acre  laborer's  allotments.   This  was  an  introduction 
from  Mead's  experience  in  Australia.   The  allotments  were  de 
signed  to  provide  good  housing,  community  services,  and  room 
for  subsistence  gardens,  orchard,  and  chicken  pens.   Although 
the  plan  seemed  to  be  a  good  one  it  never  worked  out  in  practice. 
During  the  development  period  the  settlers  on  the  labor  allot 
ments  were  kept  reasonably  busy  but  when  employment  on  farms 
provided  the  main  support  many  of  the  allotments  were  taken 
over  by  others  or  abandoned.   Again,  the  farm  labor  problem 
has  not  been  worked  out . 

Baum:       This  two-acre  settler  was  to  be  a  laborer  on  the  other  farms? 

Packard:     He  was  to  supply  labor  on  the  colony  or  on  the  outside, 
Wherever  he  could  get  labor. 

Baum:       Was  there  any  industry  around  there,  anything  that  would  use 

Packard:     The  opportunities  for  employment  were  very  limited.   During 

the  canning  season  many  farm  laborers  and  other  settlers  secured 
jobs  in  the  Turlock  canning  industry.   But  this  work  was 


Packard:     seasonal  and  so,  of  course,  was  the  need  for  work  on  the  farms. 
Low  Cost  Housing:   Architect  Max  Cook 

Packard:        A  special  service,  which  began  on  the  Durham  project,  was 
continued  at  the  Delhi  colony  with  great  success.   Max  Cook, 
an  architect  who  had  specialized  on  low  cost  housing,  was 
employed  to  advise  settlers  on  their  building  program.   No 
service  rendered  by  the  Board  was  more  intimately  connected 
with  the  settlers'  problems.   The  routine  was  as  follows. 
When  a  settler  would  appear  he  would  be  ushered  into  my  office 
where  I  would  find  out  as  much  as  possible  about  his  plans, 
his  financial  resources  and  experience,  and  would  go  over  his 
farm  plans  with  him.   Each  settler  was  supposed  to  have  at 
least  $1,500.00  in  cash  or  equivalent  in  useful  equipment. 
With  very  few  exceptions  the  settlers  had  ideas  far  beyond 
what  they  could  do  with  their  resources,  even  though  the 
state  Land  Settlement  law  provided  for  loans  up  to  $3,000.00 
for  improvements.   The  first  obstacle  would  be  building.   The 
settlers  would  say,  for  example,  they  planned  on  a  two-bedroom 
house  to  begin  with.   I  would  go  over  a  budget  program  covering 
the  first  two  or  three  years  which,  with  few  exceptions, 
knocked  out  any  possibility  of  having  the  kind  of  a  house 
they  wanted. 

This  is  where  Max  Cook  came  in.   I  would  take  the  settler 
and  his  wife  into  Cook's  office  where  he  would  show  what  could 
be  done  to  cut  costs.   It  often  resulted  in  the  building  of 


Packard:    the  lean-to  which  would  be  part  of  an  ultimate  barn  to  serve 

a&  living  quarters  until  the  farm  income  would  permit  expansion. 
In  other  cases,  the  first  unit  of  a  chicken  house  would  serve 
as  temporary  housing  units  pending  the  time  when  the  chickens 
would  bring  in  enough  profit  to  justify  further  investments. 
By  the  time  they  got  through  with  Max  Cook  and  came  back  to  me 
they  were  very  different  people.  (  Laughter  )   They  began  to 
realize  their  money  would  not  carry  them  through. 

Baum:       They  were  realizing  this  was  a  pioneering  venture.  (  Laughter  ) 
Packard:     Yes,  definitely.   Some  settlers  were  able  to  finance  the  devel 
opment  work  quite  satisfactorialy ,  but  such  settlers  had  far 
more  than  the  $1,500.00  minimum  capital. 

After  conferences  with  Cook  and  with  me,  many  of  the 
applicants  decided  against  applying  for  allotments.   In  any 
case  the  final  decision  was  made  by  Dr.  Mead,  representing  the 
Land  Settlement  Board.   The  following  excerpt  from  a  newspaper 
account  illustrates  the  procedure  and  presents  some  of  the 
results . 

On  December  15,  1920,  officers  of  the  settlement, 
including  Dr.  Elwood  Mead,  Chief  of  the  Division  of  Land 
Settlement,  and  Walter  E.  Packard,  Superintendent  of  the 
Settlement,  will  meet  at  Delhi  to  consider  applications 
of  those  desiring  to  avail  themselves  of  the  opportunity 
to  get  on  the  land.   This  is  the  second  hearing  of  applications. 
The  first,  held  earlier  in  the  month,  received  applications 
of  forty  candidates,  of  which  twenty  one  were  approved  for 
farms,  six  applications  were  similarly  acted  on  for  farm 
laborer's  allotments.   About  ten  laborers'  allotments 
remain  open  to  application.   These  farms  have  the  backing 
of  the  state  of  California  and  may  be  had  on  terms  and  under 
conditions  unequalled.   Deferred  payments  extending  over 
a  period  of  thirty-six  and  a  half  years  may  be  had  if  desired. 
In  addition  to  this,  the  settlement  has  at  its  disposal 


Packard:        the  best  agricultural  supervision  the  state  can  provide. 
Among  the  applicants  already  approved,  more  than  half  are 
from  California,  several  are  graduates  of  the  University 
of  California  or  the  farm  school  at  Davis.   In  addition 
to  these  there  are  settlers  from  Illinois,  Kansas;,  and 
Indiana.   The  total  capital  of  the  approved  applicants  is 

After  an  application  was  approved  Max  Cook  would  prepare 
detailed  plans  and  specifications  which  would  provide  the 
basis  for  competitive  bidding.   The  service  was  unique  and 
very  helpful.   The  settlers  saved  many  thousands  of  dollars 
as  a  result  of  Cook's  careful  work. 

A  fact  which  impressed  me  in  the  competitive  bidding  was 
that  a  Swedish  contractor  from  Turlock  was  consistently  the 
lowest  bidder  whenever  he  chose  to  put  in  a  bid.   He  was  able 
to  do  this  because  he  had  a  crew  of  skilled  men  who  worked  as 
a  trained  team.   They  were  paid  higher  than  going  union  wages 
but  were  able  to  cut  final  cost  by  their  efficiency  in  getting 
the  job  done. 

As  a  result  of  the  building  program,  the  Turlock  lumber 
company  established  a  branch  yard  in  Delhi  at  a  location 
determined  by  the  basic  town  plan. 

Baum:       What  did  Mr.  Cook  do  when  he  finished  his  work  at  Delhi? 

Packard:  When  the  colony  was  finished  he  became  an  architect  for  the 
Redwood  Association.  He  later  moved  to  Walnut  Creek,  where 
he  passed  away  some  years  ago. 

Baum:       It  sounds  like  his  services  could  be  used  all  over  the  world, 
in  helping  marginal  people  start  to  get  established. 

Packard:     Yes.   Max  Cook  was  a  pioneer  in  this  field.   The  essential 


Packard:     principles  which  he  developed  were  later  adopted  by  the 

Resettlement  Administration  which  employed  a  group  of  young 
and  imaginative  architects  to  direct  the  building  program, 
including  the  construction  of  farm  laborers'  camps  to  provide 
at  least  a  minimum  standard  of  camp  facilities. 

Costs  to  the  Settlers 

Baum:       How  did  costs  and  payments  work  out  for  the  settlers? 

Packard:        The  settlers  were  given  thirty-six  and  a  half  years  in 

which  to  pay  for  the  land  which  included  the  cost  of  the  pipe 
line,  engineering  and  other  costs.   The  graveling  of  the  road 
on  the  colony  was  done  by  Merced  County  and  not  charged  to  the 
colony.   Improvement  loans  covered  a  period  of  twenty  years. 
The  interest  rate  was  5%  for  all  indebtedness.   This  was  a  low 
rate  as  compared  to  the  going  rate  on  farm  loans  at  that  time, 
not  including  the  loans  made  by  the  Land  Bank  which,  as  pre 
viously  mentioned,  was  established  as  a  result  of  the  same 
factor  which  led  to  the  approval  of  the  State  Land  Settlement 

The  settlers  were,  of  course,  able  to  use  the  services  of 
the  County  Farm  Advisor  and  the  Home  Demonstration  agent. 
Meetings  with  Extension  specialists  were  frequent. 

Baum:       Did  the  settlers  pay  for  any  of  these  services? 

Packard:     No. 

Baum:       It  didn't  come  into  the  cost  for  their  land  or  anything? 

Packard:     No.   The  Extension  Service  was  all  free  to  the  farmers. 


Baum:       Well,  the  superintendent's  pay  and  all  that,  who  paid  for 

Packard :    My  salary  you  mean? 

Baum:       Yes,  or  your  secretary  or... 

Packard:    Well,  that  all  went  into  the  cost  of  the  land. 

An  additional  cost  saving  was  by  cooperative  purchasing. 
Prior  to  the  construction  of  the  community  hall,  Mrs.  Packard 
and  I  used  our  house  as  a  meeting  place.   We  helped  organize 
a  cooperative  association  which  served  the  settlers  in  various 
ways.   It  was  the  center  of  the  social  life  of  the  community. 
As  I  recall  it,  the  association  was  responsible  for  twenty 
distinct  activities,  including  the  occasional  showing  of 
commercial  movies  and  the  organization  of  community  dances. 
In  the  neighborhood  of  $40,000.00  worth  of  materials,  including 
equipment  needed  by  settlers,  were  purchased  cooperatively 
at  an  estimated  saving  of  from  ten  to  twenty  percent. 

Baum:       How  did  Delhi  compare  in  costs  to  the  settler  with  Bureau 
of  Reclamation  projects? 

Packard:     These  special  features  of  the  Land  Settlement  Program  were  a 
marked  advance  over  the  settlement  plan  established  by  the 
U.S.  Reclamation  Service.   Settlers  on  Reclamation  projects 
had  to  rely  on  their  own  resources  entirely.   They  got  long 
term  payment  for  water  costs  with  no  interest  charge,  but  the 
Reclamation  Act  made  no  provision  for  loans  and  special  services. 
As  a  result,  it- of ten  required  a  succession  of  failures  by 
three  or  four  prospective  settlers  before  a  going  farm  enterprise 


Packard : 

Packard : 


was  established.   The  Bureau  of  Reclamation  simply  provided 
the  water  and  the  settler  went  out  and  fought  his  own  battle 
completely.   If  he  didn't  have  money  he  moved  off  and  somebody 
else  moved  in.   But  at  Delhi  it  was  assumed  that  by  having 
an  opportunity  to  borrow  up  to  $3,000.00,  a  settler  would  be 
able  to  develop  his  land,  put  up  necessary  buildings,  buy 
livestock,  and  get  the  thing  into  operation  without  losing 
out.   That  was  the  theory. 

Gee,  $3,000.00  doesn't  sound  like  much  to  work  on. 
$3,000.00  at  that  time  was  more  helpful  then  it  would  be  now. 
But  they  had  their  water  system  in. 

Oh,  yes.   The  irrigation  system  went  with  the  land.   After  the 
settler  had  signed  the  contract  of  purchase,  all  he  had  to  do 
was  move  onto  the  allotment,  level  the  land,  plant  whatever 
he  intended  to  grow,  build  acceptable  living  quarters,  provide 
for  his  living  expenses  pending  the  time  when  crops,  or  live 
stock  could  be  sold.   An  appreciable  proportion  of  the  settlers 
had  to  secure  outside  work  to  survive  the  initial  period. 
The  agricultural  depression,  and  the  time  required  to  get  any 
returns  from  vines  or  trees,  and  the  unsuitability  of  the  land 
for  quick  growing  cash  crops  were  factors  which  contributed 
to  the  inability  of  a  large  number  of  settlers  to  meet  the 
payments  to  the  state.   But  this  is  getting  ahead  of  the  story. 
How  much  of  this  planning  had  been  done  before  you  arrived? 
Was  the  plan  all  finished  before  you  came  or  did  you  have  any 
part  in  planning  it? 


Packard:     That  portion  of  the  land  lying  along  the  Southern  Pacific  rail 
road  had  been  subdivided  into  small  allotments  and  offered  for 
sale.   As  I  recall  it,  there  were  about  twenty-five  settlers 
on  the  land  when  I  arrived .   But  nothing  had  been  done  toward 
developing  the  irrigation  system.   Some  alfalfa,  and  a  few 
small  vineyards  had  been  planted.   Water  was  supplied  by  tem 
porary  pumping  plants  located  along  the  Turlock  Irrigation 
ditches . 

Environmental  Problems:   Wind,  Rabbits,  and  Pests 

Packard:        But  no  one  had  considered  the  damage  that  could  be  done 
by  the  strong  spring  wind  storms.   So  when  I  arrived  nearly 
all  of  the  vine  cuttings  and  alfalfa  that  had  been  planted 
were  either  killed  or  so  badly  damaged  that  replanting  was 
necessary.   I  therefore  encountered  a  spirit  of  gloom  among 
the  settlers,  many  of  whom  were  unable  to  make  their  payments 
to  the  state. 

As  a  result  of  this  initial  record  of  damage  by  winds, 
everyone  was  wondering  what  would  happen  when  the  spring  winds 
started  again.   These  winds  came  from  the  north  and  blew  for 
three  or  four  days. 

When  the  first  wind  began  to  blow  I  got  up  at  daybreak 
and  drove  to  the  nearest  allotment  down  the  highway.   There 
I  found  the  owner,  Mr.  Aguierre ,  and  his  neighbor,  Rex  Mocker, 
sitting  on  the  lee  side  of  Aguierre 's  barn.   I  said,  "How  is 
the  alfalfa?1   They  both  replied  in  unison,  "It's  all  shot 


Packard:     to  hell."   I  suggested  that  we  walk  across  the  field  to  see 
what  was  happening.   We  found  that  the  sand  was  not  moving 
wherever  there  was  a  covering  of  weeds  which  Aguicrre  had 
cut  the  preceding  day.   On  the  basis  of  this  evidence,  I  got 
the  two  men  busy  spreading  weeds,  wherever  the  sand  was  beginning 
to  move.   Within  an  hour  or  so  the  whole  colony  was  out  with 
wagons  collecting  weeds  and  straw  to  scatter  on  any  alfalfa 
field  where  the  wind  was  apt  to  cause  damage.   At  the  same  time 
we  started  the  irrigation  system  going  to  lay  the  dust  and  con 
centrated  the  flow  on  all  of  the  young  vineyards.   Both  of 
these  measures  proved  effective.   As  a  result,  no  really 
serious  damage  was  done  by  the  first  wind.   On  the  basis  of 
this  experience  we  bought  all  the  straw  stacks  in  the  neighbor 
hood  to  be  ready  for  the  remaining  winds.   Later  we  adopted 
a  plan  of  disking  loose  straw  into  the  ground  in  preparing 
alfalfa  land  for  planting. 

Jack  rabbits  were  a  great  menace  at  that  time.   There 
were  hundreds  of  them.   They  would  eat  the  young  alfalfa  and 
eat  the  young  grape  vines.   So  we  organized  rabbit  drives. 
People  would  come  in  from  as  far  away  as  Merced  and  Turlock. 
The  men  would  line  up  about  fifty  feet  apart,  starting  on  the 
highway,  and  would  then  march  as  a  line  across  the  colony, 
shooting  rabbits  which  would  be  picked  up  by  boys  and  thrown 
in  the  wagons  following  behind  the  line.   We'd  kill  as  many  as 
six  or  seven  hundred  rabbits  in  a  single  morning's  drive. 
We'd  have  a  big  lunch  prepared  by  the  women  at  the  old  Ballico 


Packard:     Hotel  on  the  eastern  end  of  the  colony.   We  had  a  number 

of  rabbit  drives  and  greatly  lessened  the  damage  done  by  the 

Baum:       It  seems  to  me  I  read  in  Life  Jttegazine  about  a  drive  like  that 
that  aroused  a  great  deal  of  opposition  from  the  S.P.C.A. 
Maybe  that  was  after  your  time  that  people  got  so  humane  about 
rabbits . 

Packard:    I  don't  recall  any  protests.   It  was  a  life  or  death  struggle 
between  settlers  and  rabbits.   The  dead  rabbits  were  not 
thrown  away.   Some  men  were  hired  to  skin  and  dress  them  for 
shipment  to  San  Francisco  where  they  were  used  in  making 
chicken  tamales.  (  Laughter  ) 

Baum:       So  you  didn't  waste  them. 

Packard:    No.   We  sold  them  to  dealers  and  put  the  returns  into  the 
community  fund.  (  Laughter  ) 

Baum:       But  chicken  tamales.   How  did  they  get  away  with  that? 

Packard:     Rabbit  and  chicken  meat  are  much  alike.   I  suppose  the  tamales 
were  prepared  for  the  Mexican  market  in  San  Francisco.   This 
enterprise  did  not  last  long  because  the  rabbits  developed 
a  disease  which  made  them  unmarketable. 

Other  pests  appeared  from  time  to  time  to  bother  and 
discourage  the  settlers.   There  was  an  infestation  of  army 
worms  that  would  move  across  a  field,  taking  everything  with 
them  unless  stopped.   The  control  method  used  was  to  plow 
a  furrow  across  the  field  which  served  to  concentrate  the 
worms  where  they  could  be  burned  by  gasoline  torches  made 


Packard:     from  knapsack  sprays.   Nematodes  appeared  on  the  roots  of 
peach  trees  throughout  the  colony.   No  one  knew  what  to  do 
until,  after  I  left  the  colony,  the  University  developed  a 
method  of  sterilizing  the  soil  which  killed  the  nematodes  without 
injuring  the  trees. 

Baum:       There's  a  whole  department  now  at  Cal  which  is  devoted  to  this 
problem.   They  must  be  a  terrible  pest. 

Packard:     Yes,  they  sure  are.   I  was  afraid  for  a  while,  that  they  would 
end  peach  growing  at  Delhi  because  of  the  sandy  soil  which 
favored  nematode  development. 

Another  discouraging  factor  developed  soon  after  the 
first  planting  of  alfalfa.   We  found  that  the  yields  were 
very  low,  much  below  a  paying  yield.   On  the  advice  of  the 
University  I  tried  out  the  use  of  sulphur  as  a  fertilizer. 
The  suggestion  was  based  upon  an  observation  that  alfalfa 
planted  between  trees  which  were  sprayed  with  a  sulphur  spray 
did  much  better  than  alfalfa  in  adjoining  fields.   The  experi 
mental  results  were  very  encouraging  so  I  purchased  a  car  load 
of  sulphur  and  distributed  it  free  to  all  alfalfa  growers. 
The  results  were  astonishing.   Yields  grew  from  two  or  three 
tons  per  acre  to  as  much  as  ten  to  twelve  tons. 

In  part  because  of  the  problem  presented  by  the  Delhi 
soils,  the  Irrigation  Division  of  the  University  of  California 
under  the  leadership  of  Frank  Veihmeyer  established  an  experi 
ment  station  of  forty  acres  on  which  to  work  out  methods  of 
irrigation  and  care  and  to  try  out  various  varieties  of  fruit 


Packard:     trees.   There  was  a  close  cooperation  between  all  departments 
of  the  College  of  Agriculture  and  the  colony. 

A  series  of  events  involving  the  University,  the  Delhi 
colony,  and  the  over-all  problem  of  planning  can  well  be 
inserted  at  this  point.   It  concerns  peaches.   The  settlers 
were  advised  to  plant  cling  peaches  for  canning.   I,  of  course, 
supported  this  advice.   As  a  result,  practically  all  of  the 
peach  orchards  at  Delhi  were  clings.  Almost  exactly  ten  years 
later  I  was  head  of  the  Marketing  Agreement  Program  of  the 
Agricultural  Adjustment  Administration  on  the  Pacific  coast. 
Dr.  Harry  Wellman  and  Howard  Tolley,  both  of  the  University, 
were  the  directors  of  the  Adjustment  program.   In  1932  the 
peach  growers  in  California  had  secured  less  than  one  million 
dollars  for  their  entire  crop  and  were  facing  disaster.   We 
destroyed  over  240,000  tons  of  peaches  by  letting  them  rot 
on  the  ground.   As  a  result  of  this  curtailment  of  supply  the 
price  of  cling  peaches  rose  to  a  point  which  brought  a  total 
of  more  than  $6,000,000.00  to  the  peach  growers  of  the  state. 

Baum:       Well,  that  was  an  extraordinary  demonstration  of  an  attempt 
to  balance  supply  and  demand.   What  happened  next? 

Packard:     That  story  can  best  be  told  later  on  when  we  reach' that  point 
in  this  account. 

If,  in  the  beginning,  we  had  paid  attention  to  a  natural 
demonstration  of  the  adaptability  of  almonds  we  might  have 
saved  money  and  made  faster  progress.   There  was  an  old  almond 
tree  growing  near  an  old  abandoned  barn  which  produced  a  crop 


Packard:     of  almonds  every  year.   But  we  were  not  advised  to  plant 
almonds  and  went  ahead  with  peaches  and  grapes.   But  at 
present  Delhi  is  getting  to  be  quite  a  center  for  almond 
production.   Dallas  Bache ,  one  of  the  first  settlers  and 
a  man  who  knew  what  he  wanted  from  the  beginning,  is 
now  a  leading  almond  grower  and  dealer.   He  purchased 
the  old  State  warehouse  in  Delhi  which  he  uses  for  storing 
almonds.   He  was  a  very  practical  man  who  never  lost 
faith  in  the  colony.  (See  letter  following) 

Baum:       A  better  market  for  almonds  than  for  peaches? 

Packard:     Perhaps,  but  the  main  factor  seems  to  be  that  the  Delhi 
soil  is  particularly  suited  for  almonds. 

Human  Problems  and  Community  Projects 

Packard:         In  view  of  the  discouragement  among  the  settlers 
as  a  result  of  winds,  rabbits,  and  delinquencies,  it 
was  necessary  that  I  meet  any  rumors  regarding  the  adminis 
tration  which  might  affect  confidence.   I  say  this  because 
an  incident  arose  soon  after  I  arrived  which  had  to  be 
handled  quickly.   I  found  that  the  auditor  in  charge  of 
the  finance  was  using  project  money  to  level  the  land  on 
a  ten-acre  tract  that  he  had  purchased  in  the  neighbor 
hood  and  that  he  had  used  project  funds  to  buy  lumber 
for  a  house  he  was  building  in  Santa  Rosa.   I  called  him 
and  his  assistant,  Oscar  Shattuck--a  settler--into  my 
office.   I  fired  the  auditor  and  put  Shattuck  in  charge 


Delhi,  California 
October  26,  1967 

Dear  Mrs.  Packard: 

Oscar  asked  me  to  write  you  in  reply  to  your  request  for  names,  etc. 
The  family  was  the  "Beatty"  family  -  Mrs.  B's  name  was  Matilda  but  she 
passed  away  several  years  ago  -  a  real  fine  woman.   John  B  is  a  realtor 
in  Turlock,  telephone  Turlock  634  -  6281  and  James  (Jimmy)  is  Vice- 
President  in  Kaiser  Co. ,  Oakland.   We  are  not  familiar  with  the  location 
of  the  other  boys  (I  should  say  men)  of  the  family. 

Oscar  is  very  frail.   He  is  at  present  in  Mercy  Hospital  in  Merced  as 
he  fell  one  night  and  fractured  his  pelvis  bone,  but  is  healing  rapidly 
and  should  be  back  home  soon.   He  still  has  his  almond  orchard  and  is  quite 
happy  to  live  alone.   Dallas  keeps  quite  close  touch  with  him. 

And  by  the  way,  the  Delhi  Women's  Club  (an  offspring  of  the  old 
Koinvor  Club)  has  established  a  file  of  all  the  available  old  Delhi  Records 
(in  the  early  1920's,  etc.  pictures,  etc.)  and  they  are  filed  in  the  Delhi 
Water  Company's  office  in  Delhi.   Mrs.  J.  Michalec  is  in  charge  of  this  of 
fice.   If  any  of  your  U.C.  people  might  be  interested  for  research,  I'm 
sure  they  could  peruse  said  papers.   This  office  is  open  on  Wednesdays  at 
this  time.   Several  Stanislaus  College  students  have  written  papers  on 
Delhi  getting  their  material  from  this  source. 

With  best  wishes,  I  am 


Naomi  Brown  Bache 

P.S.  I  forgot  to  mention  that  Oscar  said  to  tell  you  he  had  made  adjustments 
for  Mrs.  Beatty  before  he  left  the  State  Land  Settlement  years  ago  and  every 
thing  was  acceptable  and  in  good  order. 

Mrs.  Bache' s  address  is  Mrs.  Dallas  Bache 

14527  W.  El  Capitan  Way 
Delhi,  California  95315 


Packard:    with  instruction  not  to  let  the  auditor  back  in  the  office. 
I  then  drove  to  Turlock  to  interview  our  banker  and  to 
stop  payment  on  all  checks,  pending  a  solution  of  the 
problem.   I  then  drove  to  Merced,  the  county  seat,  to 
file  suit  and  to  place  an  attachment  on  the  ten  acres. 
The  sheriff  was  cooperative,  and  he  put  an  attachment 
sign  on  the  property  that  same  afternoon,  which  was  just 
in  time  because  the  auditor  transferred  title  to  his  wife 
the  next  morning. 

Baum:       What  happened  after  that? 

Packard:        I,  of  course,  reported  the  incident  to  Dr.  Mead  who 
took  the  matter  up  with  the  attorney  general.   I  was 
very  insistent  that  the  suit  be  carried  through  but, 
for  reasons  I  never  understood,  nothing  was  done.   My 
action  and  the  Board's  failure  to  act  were,  of  course, 
known  by  the  settlers. 

Shattuck  remained  as  auditor  from  then  on  and  I  cannot 
say  enough  in  his  favor.   He  was  efficient,  loyal,  and 
took  an  active  part  in  community  life,  becoming  among 
other  things,  the  leader  of  the  Boy  Scouts.   Years  later 
he  was  honored  by  the  community.   He  is  now  living  on 
his  30-acre  allotment  which  is  planted  to  almonds  and 
yielding  a  satisfactory  income. 

At  another  time,  also  soon  after  I  had  taken  charge, 
Max  Cook,  the  architect,  was  charged  by  one  of  the  settlers 
with  having  made  a  deal  with  a  big  lumber  company  in  San 


Packard:     Francisco  which,  the  settler  said  would  give  Max  Cook  a  bonus 
of  some  kind.   I  didn't  believe  it.   I  went  to  Cook  and 
asked  him,  frankly,  if  he  made  such  a  deal.   He  had  not, 
he  said.   So  I  phoned  the  man  in  San  Francisco  who  had  sold 
the  lumber.   And  I  got  the  settler  and  Max  Cook  in  the 
car  and  drove  to  San  Francisco  to  find  the  accused  lumber 
company  man.   I  made  Jake  Larang,  the  settler,  tell  his 
story.   He  found  that  there  was  nothing  to  it  at  all.   Jake 
was  convinced  and  so  were  the  settlers  who  knew  about  that 
charge,  as  they  knew  about  the  difficulty  with  the  auditor. 

Baum:       This  must  have  gained  confidence  in  you  among  the  settlers. 

Packard:    Yes,  it  did.   Whenever  anything  came  up  that  might  affect 
the  confidence  of  the  settlers,  I  went  to  any  length  to 
get  the  facts. 

When  the  third  payment  to  the  state  became  due  and  the 
number  of  delinquents  had  increased,  I  called  a  special 
meeting  of  all  settlers  in  the  old  Delhi  schoolhouse.   I 
said  that  I  knew  they  were  worried  on  account  of  the  growing 
delinquencies  and  that  no  one  who  was  going  ahead  with  the 
development  of  his  allotment  would  be  foreclosed.   I  had 
no  authority  from  the  Board  to  make  such  a  statement,  but 
I  felt  it  was  necessary  and  was  sure  that  I  would  be  supported, 
The  following  day  the  whole  atmosphere  among  the  settlers 
was  markedly  improved. 

That  I  was  not  considered  to  be  soft  on  the  settlers 
was  indicated  when  the  Turlock  paper  offered  a  prize  for  the 


Packard:     best  limerick.   One  of  the  contestants  wrote  the  following: 

There  was  a  young  dictator  named  Walter, 
who  came  to  Delhi  to  alter. 
He  sold  some  sand  and  said  it  was  land. 
To  the  state  I  am  now  a  defaulter. 

In  the  early  fall  of  the  second  year,  the  colony  staged 
a  big  celebration.   The  Governor  of  the  state  and  the  members 
of  the  Land  Settlement  Board  were  invited  and  came.   About 
1,500  people  were  fed  at  long  tables  erected  in  the  pipe 
shed.   The  wives  of  the  settlers  provided  pumpkin  pie  for  all 
made  from  pumpkins  grown  on  the  project  land.   Vaughn  Azhderian, 
our  neighbor  in  Imperial  Valley  days,  then  living  in  Turlock, 
managed  the  barbeque;   one  steer  and  two  lambs  were  used 
as  I  recall  it.   Vaughn  cut  the  meat  up  into  hunks  about  the 
size  of  cantaloupe,  seasoned  the  meat  thoroughly,  then  sewed 
each  piece  up  in  cheese  cloth  and  then  put  the  whole  lot 
on  top  of  gravel  which  covered  the  coals  of  an  oak  fire. 
The  hole  was  covered  with  planks  and  gravel  piled  on  top 
of  the  planks.   When  the  cover  was  removed,  after  several 
hours  of  cooking,  the  meat  was  tender  and  delicious.   Other 
attractions  were  exhibits  by  individual  settlers  of  flower 
and  garden  products,  including  pumpkins  and  watermelons. 
After  some  speeches  a  tour  of  the  colony  was  made  by  the  officials. 

Baum:       Were  the  settlers  making  a  living  aside  from  the  money  they 
weren't  paying  on  their  payments?   Could  they  make  a  living? 

Packard:     No,  not  yet.   A  good  many  of  them  were  working  for  the  colony. 
If  they  had  a  truck  they  were  trucking  pipe,  or  they  were 


Packard:     digging  ditches.   Most  of  the  ditches  for  the  laying  of  pipe 
were  dug  by  hand.   Some  were  working  in  the  pipe  shed.   And 
we  had  three  or  four  working  in  the  office.   Quite  a  number 
were  being  carried  in  that  way.   And  they,  of  course,  were 
paying  up.   They  were  not  delinquent. 

Another  factor  which  helped  build  morale  was  the  issuance 
of  the  Delhi  News ,  a  little  mimeographed  paper  that  went 
out  every  week  for  several  months  and  gave  news  of  the 
settlement.   It  created  a  lot  of  fun  because  it  was  very 
personal,  reciting  incidents,  funny  and  otherwise,  which  had 
occured  in  the  community. 

Another  community  activity  involved  the  planting  of  trees 
on  both  sides  of  the  state  highway  for  a  distance  of  about 
six  miles.   The  State  Department  of  Forestry  supplied  the 
trees  and  staked  out  the  location.   Delhi  settlers  and 
business  men  from  Turlock,  Livingston,  and  Merced  dug  the 
holes  with  equipment  supplied  by  the  colony.   The  State 
Forester  supervised  the  planting.   All  of  the  towns  involved 
had  declared  a  holiday  for  the  occasion  and  the  women  of  the 
colony  supplied  a  lunch  for  everyone.   The  trees  were  black 
locust  which  grew  to  a  height  of  twenty-five  feet  or  more 
and  made  a  fine  showing  especially  during  the  flowering 
period  until  the  widening  of  the  highway  in  recent  years 
into  a  four-lane  freeway  eliminated  most  of  them. 

Baum:       Well,  that  country  can  certainly  stand  a  few  trees. 

Packard:    Yes.   But  for  years,  before  the  old  highway  was  broadened 


Packard:    the  trees  provided  quite  a  sight.   It  was  a  very  successful 
enterprise  from  that  standpoint. 

One  of  the  important  features  of  the  Delhi  colony  was 
the  decision  of  the  settlers  to  have  but  one  breed  of  dairy 
cattle  and  to  insist  on  T.B.  tested  cows.   After  weeks  of 
discussion  ,Holsteins  were  selected  and  all  of  those  who 
were  going  into  the  dairy  business  agreed  not  to  buy  any 
other  breed.   Delhi  was  to  be  known  as  a  Holstein  community. 
Since  there  were  to  be  no  large  herds  and  since  artificial 
insemination  was  not  yet  developed,  it  seemed  wise  to  have 
a  community  bull  to  be  owned  cooperatively.   As  in  most 
situations  of  this  kind,  I,  as  superintendent,  was  appointed 
to  serve  on  the  bull  committee.   After  some  correspondence 
we  found  a  bull  on  a  Modesto  dairy  farm  that  seemed  to  fill 
the  bill.   He  was,  understandably,  rather  reluctant  to  leave 
when  the  committee  appeared  with  a  rather  small  truck.   The 
transfer  was  managed  without  any  serious  incident,  but  the 
man  who  had  promised  to  have  a  strong  corral  ready  to  receive 
the  bull  had  done  nothing.   However,  there  was  a  large  iron 
wheel,  perhaps  seven  feet  in  diameter,  which  had  been  part 
of  an  old  threshing  machine  lying  on  the  ground.   It  was 
decided  very  foolishly,  of  course,  to  tie  the  bull  to  the 
wheel  with  a  very  heavy  rope  and  to  build  the  corral  the 
next  day.   I  was  not  personally  accustomed  to  bulls  so  took 
the  advice  of  our  livestock  settler  who  claimed  to  be  experienc 


Packard:        The  next  morning,  a  little  after  daybreak,  I  was  called 
on  by  some  irate  settlers.   The  bull,  I  found  had  walked 
with  the  wheel  until  the  rope  broke  and  then  he  was  loose. 
During  the  night  he  had  knocked  down  the  tent  in  which  a 
settler--a  graduate  from  Stanford—was  sleeping.   He  managed 
to  get  out  from  under  and  ran  bare-footed  to  widow  Lee's  house, 
about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  away.   By  the  time  the  children 
were  to  go  to  school  the  whole  settlement  was  aroused.  And 
again,  as  was  the  custom  the  superintendent  had  to  do  something 
about  it.   I  secured  the  cooperation  of  a  would-be  cowboy 
who  was  working  in  the  pipe  shed.   He  had  a  trick  pony  and 
said  he  was  an  expert  with  a  rope.   I  borrowed  a  cow  pony 
and  a  lasso  from  one  of  the  settlers  and  the  two  of  us  started 
out  in  search  of  the  bull.   My  cowboy  friend  managed  to 
get  his  rope  around  the  bull's  neck  but  he  had  made  the  mistake 
of  having  the  other  end  tied  to  the  horn  of  his  saddle. 
The  inevitable  happened.   The  bull  pulled  the  saddle  off  and 
started  for  Mrs.  Lee's  garden.   The  saddle  finally  caught 
in  a  fence  and  the  rope  broke.   So  there  I  was  in  an  open 
field  with  a  thoroughly  roused  bull.   I  had  been  a  very  good 
rider  as  a  boy  and  had  used  a  lasso,  so  I  managed  to  get  the 
rope  around  the  bull's  neck  and  then  rode  with  the  bull 
when  he  was  not  coming  my  way  and  kept  ahead  of  him  when 
he  changed  directions.  (  Laughter  )   Being  unused  to  such 
vigorous  exercise,  the  bull  finally  settled  down  and  I  was 
able  to  wind  the  rope  around  a  tree  which  held  the  bull  while 


Packard:     an  experienced  dairyman  put  a  ring  in  his  nose  with  a  stout 

stick  attached.  All  that  was  left  to  do  was  to  lead  the  bull 
down  El  Capitan,  the  main  road  through  the  colony,  to  a  dairy 
man's  place  where  a  proper  corral  had  been  built. 

Baum:       Was  this  bull  enterprise  successful  then? 

Packard:    Yes  it  worked  quite  well,  at  least  I  don't  recall  any  trouble. 

But  the  T.B.  testing  hit  a  serious  snag.   Paul  Dougherty, 
of  whom  I  have  spoken  before,  was  a  leader  in  the  dairy 
project.   He  had  a  forty-five  acre  allotment  and  planned  to 
go  into  the  dairy  business.   But  for  some  reason  which  I 
have  never  fully  understood,  Paul  purchased  a  T.B.  infested 
herd,  unknowingly,  of  course.   According  to  the  rules  which 
he  had  supported  he  was  obligated  to  sell  the  infected  cows. 
But  such  a  move  would  be  disastrous.   So  what  to  do?  That 
was  the  question.   Paul  did  get  rid  of  the  cows  and  I  took 
him  on  as  assistant  superintendent. 

Baum:       So  whenever  they  got  down  and  out,  you  hired  them.  (  Laughter  ) 

Packard:    Yes,  I  did  just  that  on  several  occasions  but  in  most  cases 
I  couldn't  have  gotten  better  people.   Paul  Dougherty,  for 
example,  was  thoroughly  well-informed,  was  a  very  hard  worker, 
and  was  completely  loyal  to  the  administration  and  the  colony. 
I  couldn't  have  had  a  better  assistant. 

Baum:       You  couldn't  have  let  him  keep  his  T.B.  herd.   It  would  have 
ruined  your  whole  dairy  program. 

Packard:   Yes,  that's  right.   Paul  acted  in  good  faith.   But  he  even 
tually  sold  the  allotment  and  went  into  teaching,  first 


Packard:     in  a  Centerville  high  school  and  then  as  a  professor  of 
agriculture  at  the  San  Luis  Obispo  State  College. 

Another  incident  relating  to  the  dairy  program  which  I 
think  is  worth  relating  concerns  a  judgment  which  I  made  which 
was  arbitrary  and  perhaps  wrong.  At  least  it  illustrates 
a  type  of  weakness  often  associated  with  bureaucracy.   The 
Epstein  brothers  had  taken  an  allotment  together,  intending 
to  develop  a  sizable  herd  which  was  to  be  fed  in  a  lot  with 
hay  and  grain  to  be  purchased  on  the  market.   The  barns 
were  to  be  equipped  with  the  latest  milking  machines,  refriger 
ators  and  the  like.   The  basic  idea  was  sound  as  evidenced 
by  the  fact  that  much  of  the  milk  in  the  state  now  comes 
from  just  such  enterprises.   But  it  did  not  fit  into  my  idea 
of  the  sort  of  family  farm  the  Land  Settlement  Board  was  trying 
to  develop.   1  rather  arbitrarily  rejected  the  Epstein's 
application  for  a  loan  to  start  the  venture.   I  have  often 
wondered  what  would  have  happened  if  these  two  very  intelligent 
families  had  gone  ahead  with  their  idea.   They  were  very 
cooperative  members  of  the  community  but  sold  out  and  went 
elsewhere  when  their  plans  were  not  supported. 

Baum:       You  had  to  okay,  or  a  committee,  had  to  okay... 

Packard:    I  had  to  okay  the  loan. 

Baum:       Oh,  the  loan,  I  see.   If  they'd  had  the  money  they  could  have 
done  anything  they  wanted? 

Packard:     Oh  yes. 

Baum:       Well,  I  guess  that's  the  control  any  farmer  is  under,  whether 


Baum:       he's  in  a  colony  or  not.   He  has  to  get  his  loan  okayed  from 
the  bank  or  somewhere. 

Packard:     Yes,  that's  right.   But,  in  retrospect,  I  think,  I  perhaps 
would  have  done  better  if  I  had  recommended  the  loans  to 
them  on  the  basis  they  wanted.   But  I  followed  the  principles 
of  the  Board  in  not  doing  it.   In  any  case  they  sold  out  and 
went  somewhere  else. 

Decreasing  Demand  for  Land;   Inexperienced  Settlers 

Packard:        By  the  end  of  the  second  year  it  was  apparent  that  there 
was  no  pressing  demand  for  farms.   It  was  necessary,  however, 
to  sell  the  land  if  the  project  was  to  be  a  solvent  enterprise, 
As  a  result  of  these  circumstances  the  Board  decided  to  adver 
tise  both  in  the  Los  Angeles  area  and  in  the  Middle  West. 
An  attractive  Chamber  of  Commerce  type  booklet  was  printed 
which  described  all  of  the  advantages  of  this  state  project- 
good  soil,  good  water  supply,  easy  credits,  agricultural 
advice  and  all  the  rest.  A  picture  of  a  small  fishing  boat 
on  the  Merced  river  added  a  sense  of  charm.   But  the  results 
were  discouraging.   People  just  did  not  want  to  go  into 
farming,  in  part,  I  suppose  because  of  the  agricultural 
depression.   The  next  move  was  to  send  Kreutzer  to  Chicago 
and  me  to  Los  Angeles  to  drum  up  trade.   The  Chamber  of 
Commerce  in  Los  Angeles  was  very  helpful  in  offering  desk 
space  and  publicity.   But  still  no  demand. 

Baum:       Didn't  anybody  apply? 


Packard:     Oh  yes,  a  few  signed  applications  but  the  results  were  far 
from  encouraging,  in  part  because  some  of  those  who  came 
were  so  inexperienced  that  they  had  no  chance  whatever  of 
succeeding.   For  example,  I  received  an  application  from 
a  man  and  his  wife.   They  had  the  required  $1,500.00  and  had 
had  an  interview  with  Kreutzer.   In  their  letter  to  me  they 
asked  me  to  have  five  acres  of  the  twenty-acre  poultry 
allotment  planted  to  alfalfa  so  they  would  not  be  delayed 
in  getting  started.   On  one  fine  spring  day  when  the  Cal 
ifornia  poppies  were  in  full  bloom,  I  met  the  couple  at 
the  Ballico  Station  on  the  Santa  Fe.   I  found  our  new  settler 
to  be  a  slightly  built  man  who  had  been  a  bookkeeper  with 
no  farming  experience.   But  he  enthusiastically  informed 
me  that  he  had  taken  a  correspondence  course  on  alfalfa 
and  had  secured  a  grade  of  100.   When  we  arrived  at  his 
allotment  and  started  to  walk  through  the  young  alfalfa 
field  where  the  alfalfa  was  mixed  with  a  weed  which  would 
disappear  at  the  first  cutting  and  was  harmless,  I  could 

see  that  Mr.  was  puzzled.   He  picked  a  stem  of  alfalfa 

and  said,  "What  is  this?"  I  replied  by  saying  that  it  was 
what  he  had  gotten  a  grade  of  100  on.   The  inevitable  result 
was  that  his  money  was  gone  within  three  or  four  months  and 
I  had  to  employ  his  wife  as  a  secretary  in  the  office.   In 
due  time  I  managed  to  sell  his  farm  for  what  it  had  cost 
him  and  the  two  left  for  parts  unknown. 

Baum:       Now,  to  what  do  you  attribute  his  failure? 


Packard:     Oh,  he  was  just  not  a  farmer. 

Baum:       Was  it  necessary  to  know  about  farming,  or  couldn't  he 
have  gotten  enough  assistance  from  you  and  other  agric 
ultural  advisors  to  have  learned  about  farming? 

Packard:    Well,  in  the  first  place,  he  was  very  much  of  a  city  man. 

(  Laughter  )   He  had  no  experience  in  farming.   His  approach 

was  all  theoretical.   He  just  wasn't  prepared  physically 

or  psychologically  to  do  the  kind  of  physical  work  required. 

Another  experience  of  a  different  kind  involved  a 
worker  who  had  settled  on  one  of  the  two-acre  farm  laborer 
allotments.   He  had  a  big  family  and  my  first  involvement 
with  him  came  from  a  protest  on  the  part  of  the  school 
teachers  who  complained  that  the  children  all  had  lice  in 
their  hair.   Since  the  Land  Settlement  law  said  nothing 
about  lice,  I  had  to  act  on  my  own.   In  cooperation  with 
the  teachers,  the  situation  was  remedied.   My  second 
encounter  came  when  his  neighbors  complained  about  the  un 
kempt  character  of  his  two-acre  block.   I  found  that  he 
planned  to  establish  a  small  slaughter  house  on  the  place. 
He  assured  me  that  it  would  be  entirely  sanitary  because 
he  planned  to  feed  all  the  waste  to  the  hogs.   I  again 
had  to  exercise  rather  arbitrary  authority. 

To  offset  this  example,  I  should  cite  the  case  of  Mr. 
Prothero  who  was  one  of  the  original  settlers.   He  was  an 
experienced  poultry  man  who  specialized  in  turkey  raising. 
His  operations  were  very  successful.   I  understand  that 


Packard:     he  became  quite  independently  wealthy. 

There  was  another  outstanding  example  of  success.   But 
it  did  not  follow  the  small  farm  pattern  which  the  Land 
Settlement  Act  had  envisioned.   A  settler  came  to  Delhi 
in  the  beginning  and  settled  on  one  of  the  largest  allot 
ments.   It  was  a  ninety-acre  tract  in  the  sand  dune  section 
of  the  colony.   He  had  $40,000.00  to  start  with  and  he 
knew  exactly  what  he  wanted  to  do.   To  make  a  long  story 
short,  he  planted  his  home  allotment  to  peaches  and  when 
the  settlement  got  into  trouble  and  all  of  the  old  policies 
had  been  abandoned,  he  bought  several  settlers  out  and  was 
sold  some  of  the  undeveloped  land  in  the  Ballico  area.   As 
a  result  he  became  the  largest  peach  grower  in  the  world, 
and  was  worth  more  than  $1,000,000.00  at  the  time  of  his 

Veterans'  Administration  Trainees 

Packard:        My  most  difficult  personnel  problems  came  from  the 

veterans  who  were  clients  of  the  Veterans'  Administration. 
Some  received  monthly  checks  which  were  large  enough  to 
enable  them  to  get  by  with  a  minimum  of  work. 

Baum:       Were  these  men  injured?  Was  that  why  they  had  a  pension? 

Packard:     Yes.   They  all  had  some  disability. 

Baum:       But  not  one  that  the  Veterans'  Administration  thought 
would  prevent  them  from  farming? 

Packard:     That's  right.   They  called  them  trainees.   They  were  given 


Packard:     certain  supervision  by  the  Veterans'  Bureau,  which  was 
supposed  to  help  them. 

One  such  had  settled  on  a  twenty-acre  poultry  allotment 
before  I  arrived.   He  was  getting  $125.00  a  month  which 
had  considerable  purchasing  power  at  that  time.   He  did 
practically  no  work  on  his  place,  but  spent  much  of  his 
time  hanging  around  town  where  he  could  meet  incoming  settlers. 
He  never  attended  community  meetings  nor  participated  in 
community  activities.   The  time  finally  came  when  the  Board 
started  foreclosure  proceedings  —  the  first  of  two  fore 
closure  proceedings  while  I  was  there.   He  agreed  to  accept 
a  price  for  the  sale  of  his  allotment  to  be  set  by  a  com 
mittee  of  three,  one  to  be  appointed  by  me,  another  by 
him  and  the  third  by  these  two.   The  committee  was  finally 
appointed  and  met  on  his  allotment  to  inspect  the  place 
and  to  hear  both  sides  of  the  dispute.   The  committee  had 
no  difficulty  in  arriving  at  a  figure  which  was  entirely 
satisfactory  to  me  and  to  him.   But  his  wife  took  an 
unexpected  hand  in  the  proceedings  by  inviting  me  into  the 
house  where  she  stood  by  a  cupboard  with  her  hand  on  a 
loaded  .25  revolver.   She  started  a  tirade  against  me  by 
calling  me  a  liar,  which  under  the  circumstances  I  was  not 
inclined  to  argue  about.   The  veteran  entered  the  room, 
saw  what  was  happening  and  went  quickly  over  to  his  wife 
and  took  the  gun  away.   I  reacted  with  haste  and  got  in 
my  car  and  drove  away.   When  the  time  came  to  serve  the 


Packard:     foreclosure  notice  I  had  a  difficult  decision  to  make. 
His  wife  had  told  her  neighbors  that  she  would  shoot  me 
if  I  ever  put  foot  on  the  allotment  again.   In  retrospect 
I  realize  that  I  should  have  had  the  sheriff  serve  the 
papers,  but  I  somehow  felt  that  my  position  in  the  community 
was  at  stake.   So,  with  Shattuck  as  a  witness  I  drove  in, 
knocked  at  the  back  door,  and  handed  the  papers  to  the 
man  who  accepted  them  without  a  word.   But  his  wife  pushed 
through  the  door  and  launched  an  attack  at  me  which  was 
ended  immediately  by  the  husband  who  held  her  while  Shattuck 
and  I  drove  away.   My  next  meeting  with  him  was  at  a  prune 
hearing  in  Santa  Rosa,  eight  years  later.   He  greeted  me 
cordially  like  a  long-lost  friend.  (  Laughter  ) 

Baum:       The  wife's  anger  over  the  proceedings  seems  to  have  been 
the  cause  of  the  trouble. 

Packard:    Yes  that's  true.   But  it  was  not  her  fault.   She  was  sick 
and  consequently  not  normal.   I  felt  badly  about  the  whole 

In  another  case,  the  villain  in  the  plot  was  definitely 
the  settler  rather  than  his  wife.   He  was  a  veteran—receiving 
aid  from  the  Veterans'  Administration.   The  couple  had 
settled  on  a  ten-acre  poultry  allotment  and  seemed  to  be 
making  progress.   But  in  order  to  make  things  easier  I 
employed  his  wife  as  a  stenographer  in  the  office.   She 
appeared  one  morning  in  tears,  saying  that  Charlie  had  not 
returned  home  that  night.   I  suggested  that  we  drive  to 


Packard:     town  and  examine  the  bank  account,  where  she  had  a  deposit 
of  about  $700.00.   We  found,  as  I  had  suspected,  that  all 
the  money  was  gone.   The  situation  was  complicated  by  the 
fact  that  she  was  expecting  a  baby  in  a  couple  of  months. 
There  was  nothing  for  Emma  and  me  to  do  but  take  her  into 
our  home  until  the  baby  came  and  she  was  able  to  move  to 
the  Bay  Area  where  she  had  friends.   The  last  I  heard  of 
the  case  the  man  had  returned  long  enough  to  father  another 
child  before  again  leaving  for  parts  unknown. 

Baum:       What  did  the  Veteran  Bureau  do? 

Packard:    I  don't  know.   Red  Cross  paid  hospital  expenses  for  the 

baby.   She  remained  with  us  until  the  baby  was  two  months 

There  was  another  case  where  an  Army  nurse  from  Texas 
had  written  saying  that  she  wanted  a  ten-acre  block  for 
poultry.   She  wanted  to  go  into  the  poultry  business.   I 
wrote  to  her,  after  she  told  me  something  about  her  experience 
and  what  her  assets  were.   I  recommended  that  she  not  come. 
I  said,  "I  don't  think  this  is  the  place  for  you."  But 
one  morning  she  showed  up.   "I 'm  Miss  Smith,  from  Texas." 
(  Laughter  )   I  said,  "I  thought  I  told  you  that  you  wouldn't 
fit  in  here  too  well."   She  said,  "Oh,  but  I  want  to.   This 
is  just  exactly  what  I  want.   And  I've  got  my  mother  with 
me."  Her  mother  was  in  her  eighties  and  in  a  very  short 
time  went  completely  blind.   The  two  women,  however,  got 
this  ten-acre  farm  and  wanted  to  start  in  with  chickens 


Packard:    right  away.   She  wanted  a  poultry  house,  which  was  prepared 
and  put  on  the  property.  Max  Cook  induced  her  to  be  sat 
isfied  with  one  small  unit  of  her  proposed  poultry  house. 
But  she  wanted  a  thousand  baby  chicks  to  start.   I  said, 
"Miss  Smith,  I  don't  think  you  should  start  with  a  thousand 
chicks.   Start  with  a  hundred  and  see  how  you  get  along." 
And  so  we  gave  her  all  the  help  we  could  on  the  theory 
of  chicken  raising.   But  about  a  week  later  I  drove  by  her 
place  and  I  called  out,  "How  are  the  chicks  coming  along?" 
And  she  said,  "They're  all  dead."  (  Laughter  )   I  said, 
"They're  all  dead,  why  what's  the  matter?"  She  said,  "I 
fed  them  hen  food  instead  of  chick  food  and  they're  all 
dead."  She  then  thought  she'd  go  into  strawberries. 
(  Laughter  )  And  one  day  I  got  a  special  delivery  letter 
from  her  mailed  at  the  post  office  which  was  located  within 
a  hundred  feet  of  my  office—but  it  was  a  special  delivery 
letter  to  me--to  go  out  and  help  her  with  the  strawberries. 
She  said  she  was  having  difficulty.   This  sort  of  thing 
went  on  for  a  while  longer  until  it  became  evident  to  her 
that  her  plan  wouldn't  work.   I  remember  one  sight  that 
was  quite  pathetic.   During  the  latter  part  of  the  time 
that  she  was  there,  I  went  to  her  place  and  saw  her  old 
mother,  who  was  blind  by  that  time,  sitting  in  a  chair  out 
on  the  front  porch  of  her  little  house  picking  out  the 
seeds  from  sunflowers  that  they'd  grown  on  the  place.   The 
seeds  were  to  go  into  the  feed  mixture  for  the  chickens. 


Packard:     The  mother  finally  died,  and  there  was  a  funeral  service  in 
Merced  for  her.   Miss  Smith  gave  a  beautiful  eulogy  to  her 
mother.   And  then  shortly  after  that  she  decided  that  she 
couldn't  go  on  any  longer  and  wanted  to  sell  out.   I  was 
able  to  sell  her  property  to  another  settler  for  enough 
money  to  pay  her  for  everything  that  she  had  put  into  it. 
So  she  left  the  colony  with  as  much  money  as  she  had  when 
she  came  there.   One  of  the  county  welfare  officers  wanted 
to  put  her  in  an  institution  as  a  person  unable  to  care 
for  herself.   But  I  refused  to  go  along  and  Miss  Smith  left 
Delhi.  About  ten  years  later  I  met  her  in  Portland  where 
she  was  an  active  and  paid  member  of  a  Seventh  Day  Adventist 
group,  exuding  the  same  enthusiasm  that  she  had  exhibited 
at  Delhi. 

In  another  case  I  managed  to  escape  what  might  have 
been  a  disaster.  A  socialist  labor  leader  who  was  running 
a  small  paper  in  San  Francisco  appeared  one  morning  saying 
that  he  had  about  decided  to  take  out  an  allotment.   He  said 
that  he  had  never  wielded  a  shovel  but  that  he  had  wielded 
a  pen  and  thought  he  might  like  to  be  a  part  of  this  cooper 
ative  community.   After  a  very  short  conference  I  was  sure 
that  we  did  not  need  a  pen  wielder  working  with  some  of 
our  discontents.  (  Laughter  )  My  persistence  in  urging 
his  reconsideration  of  his  plan  made  him  a  little  suspicious. 
Besides  that  I  think  he  had  been  talking  to  a  disgruntled 
settler  and  was  about  to  resort  to  the  use  of  his  pen. 


Packard:    He  left  and  I  never  heard  from  him  again. 

Baum:       Now  these  veteran  trainees,  did  they  get  special  assistance- 
more  than  the  other  settlers? 

Packard:     Yes.   They  received  monthly  checks  for  disabilities  they 
may  have  had.   So  they  came  in  with  an  income  already  es 
tablished,  which  enabled  them  to  get  in  under  the  $1,500.00 
limitation  rather  easily.   Because  where  you  have  an  income, 
that's  even  better  than  having  a  cash  sum  at  the  beginning. 
So  some  of  the  veterans  were  let  in  without  the  $1,500.00 
cash  requirement  because  they  had  income. 

Baum:       Did  they  have  any  other  assistance,  other  than  this  little 
amount  of  money?  Was  there  anyone  there  to  teach  them 

Packard:     No.   They  got  no  other  help  from  the  Veterans'  Bureau. 

They  got  the  same  help  as  everybody  else  did  from  the  colony, 
but  nothing  special. 

Baum:       Was  there  a  Major  Grant  who  was  the  leader  of  the  critical 

Packard:    Yes. 

Baum:       Was  he  a  settler? 

Packard:    Oh,  no.  Major  Grant  was  employed  in  the  Veterans'  office 
in  San  Francisco.  And  he  was  supervisor  of  the  trainee 

Baum:       Did  he  feel  this  was  the  wrong  kind  of  work  for  the  veterans? 

Packard:     Oh,  no.   He  favored  the  kind  of  work  for  the  veterans  but 
he  felt  that  the  veterans  in  the  colony  were  not  making 


Packard:     good  and  that  they  would  not  be  able  to  succeed.   That 

was  his  judgment. 
Baum:       But  they  were  the  wrong  veterans  for  that  job,  for  those 

positions . 
Packard:     They  were  either  the  wrong  ones  or  they  weren't  capable 

of  succeeding  in  the  colony.   That  was  his  judgment. 
Baum:       Well  then,  that  was  no  fault  of  the  colony,  was  it?   Or 

did  he  feel  that  was  the  fault  of  the  colony? 
Packard:    Well,  he  felt  that  we  had  probably  taken  on  some  veterans 

who  shouldn't  have  been  accepted.   But  he  recommended  that 

some  settlers  sell  out  and  then  go  to  other  properties 

and  pay  more  for  land  than  they  were  paying  here. 
Baum:       I  see.   So  in  that  instance  he  did  think  that  the  colony 

was  not  a  good  place  for  them.   He  thought  they  were 

suitable  men  to  do  farming. 
Packard:    Well,  I  don't  know  what  his  judgment  on  that  was.   He 

never  talked  to  me. 

Settlers  Organize  to  Demand  More  Aid  from  the  State 

Packard:        The  inevitable  finally  happened.   A  Welfare  League  was 
organized  by  some  of  the  settlers  who  were  delinquent  and 
could  see  no  way  out  unless  the  State  made  concessions- 
reduced  the  price  of  land,  extended  the  time  for  initial 
payments  and  the  like.   This  protest  was  entirely  understand 
able  but  as  superintendent  I  felt  that  time  would  resolve 
most  of  the  problems  if  the  Board  would  support  the  policies 


Packard:    which  I  was  following;   that  is,  doing  all  that  I  could 
to  help  those  who  had  a  chance  of  succeeding  and  helping 
the  failures  to  get  out  with  minimum  losses. 

A  former  preacher  who  was  a  settler  was  president  of 
the  Delhi  Settlers  Welfare  League,  an  organization  of 
hundred  seventy-one  of  the  two  hundred  eighty  holders  of 
allotments  in  the  colony.   Without  mincing  words,  he  emphatic 
ally  declared  conditions  in  the  colony  were  becoming  un 
bearable,  and  stated: 

"  "We  can't  get  by  under  present  conditions.   If  we 
don't  get  by,  we're  going  broke.1   The  thing  is  an 
economic  problem  and  he  called  for  solution  on  an 
economic  basis.   Said  he,  'Conditions  in  the  colony 
have  gone  from  bad  to  worse.   For  months  the  settlers 
have  been  coming  to  my  home  evenings  in  twos  and  threes 
and  sometimes  as  many  as  a  dozen  at  a  time.   We  decided 
to  organize  a  league  at  first,  we  called  the  Delhi 
Settlers  Defense  League.   Rather  than  have  the  name 
create  an  antipathy  on  the  part  of  the  administration, 
we  changed  to  Delhi  Settlers  Welfare  League.  Almost 
all  the  settlers  are  behind  in  their  payments.   The 
contract  with  the  state  calls  for  the  forfeiture  of 
all  improvements  in  case  the  State  Land  Settlement 
Board  decides  to  cancel  our  delinquency  and  the  improve 
ments  are  taken  as  rental. ' 

Of  course,  any  bank  would  have  done  this.   But  we 
didn't.   None  of  that  was  done. 

"  'The  price  we  were  forced  to  pay  for  land  was  too 
high.   The  average  has  been  more  than  two  hundred  dollars 
for  raw  land.   One  piece  of  land,  leveled  for  alfalfa, 
just  north  is  for  sale  for  one  hundred  dollars  an  acre. 
The  two-hundred-acre  Drew  Ranch  with  all  improvements 
is  offered  for  two  hundred  dollars  an  acre.   This  is 
some  of  the  best  land  of  the  Delhi  district.   It  wasn't 
the  land  that  brought  us  here.   It  was  the  allurement 
of  low  rates  of  interest  and  long  term  payments.   We 
were  told  we  could  come  here  with  the  $1,500.00  with 
which  to  make  an  initial  payment  on  our  farms,  bring 
the  farms  to  production,  and  support  families  with 


Packard : 

Mrs.    : 
(Reading  from 

loans  made  by  the  state.   Now  we  are  told  the  state 
is  without  funds  for  further  loans  and  we  can't  get 
money.   At  the  last  election  a  two  million  dollar  bond 
issue  for  further  development  of  Delhi  and  for  new 
settlement  projects  was  voted  down  and  hence  there  is 
no  money.   The  failure  of  settlers  to  be  able  to  meet 
their  payments  has  cut  off  the  administration  from 
funds  it  expected  to  receive.   What  we  need  here  is 
more  money  from  which  we  may  obtain  loans  at  no  interest 
on  deferred  payments  for  a  period  of  five  years,  thus 
enabling  us  to  tide  ourselves  over  until  our  farms 
begin  to  yield. ' 

Another  settler  who  declined  to  permit  the  use  of 
his  name  said,  'I  put  $9,000.00  into  my  allotment  and 
I'm  broke.   I've  been  here  three  years  and  have  got 
two  years  more  to  go  before  the  sale  of  production 
from  my  farm  will  meet  the  expenses  and  keep  my  family. 
The  land  here  is  impoverished  from  seventy  years  of 
grain  farming.   All  of  the  humus  has  been  taken  out 
and  nothing  put  back  in,  making  it  impossible  to  produce 
sweet  potatoes  and  vegetables  on  a  commercial  basis. 
To  put  me  over  the  top  would  require  the  state  giving 
me  a  new  price  on  my  land  of  $150.00  an  acre,  instead 
of  $250.00,  and  to  give  me  a  new  contract  requiring  no 
interest  on  deferred  payments  for  five  years.1 

Discussing  the  situation  from  another  angle  the 
settler  asked,  'Can  the  state  of  California  afford 
to  have  this  colony  go  to  the  wall  with  commissions 
from  all  over  the  world  coming  here  to  inspect  this 
colony  and  with  all  of  the  alluring  stories  that  have 
been  published  in  periodicals?   Can  you  imagine  the 
damage  that  it  will  do  to  California  if  the  Delhi 
Colony  fell  flat?   There  isn't  any  way  out  of  it 
but  for  the  state  to  take  a  loss  here.   It  has  got 
to  do  something  to  assist  the  settlers."  " 

"  "The  Delhi  Colony  is  not  the  failure  some  of  the 
Welfare  Leagures  represent  it  to  be,1  is  the  statement 
of  Dr.  C.  C.  Crampton  who  is  purchasing  a  sixty-acre 
tract  and  building  a  modern  home.   Dr.  Crampton  is 
president  of  the  Delhi  Cooperative  League." 

At  this  late  date  (May  18,  1967)  I  am  unsure  of  the  Crampton 
facts.   They  did  build  a  big  home.   At  first,  they  were 
cooperative  —  later  joined  the  dissenters. 

Actually,  when  too  many  settlers  were  threatened  with 


Mrs .    : 

Packard ; 


loss  and  failure  (as  they  were  for  many  causes)  it  was 
natural  to  band  together  to  try  for  "redress  of  grievances." 

In  my  later  judgment,  there  was  the  wrong  psychology 
about  a  State  enterprise--"! 'm  secure  —  the  state  can't  or 
won't  let  me  fail ."--"It 's  the  state's  bad  judgment  if  this 
doesn't  work."  The  biggest  percentage  of  settlers  worked 
hard  and  tried  to  do  their  part  and  felt  the  state  wouldn't 
let  them  down. 

The  atmosphere  surrounding  the  work  of  the  Welfare 
League  is  well-illustrated  by  some  notes  which  Emma  made 
at  the  time.  They  involved  the  community  church  and  the 
work  of  a  missionary  who  had  been  sent  to  Delhi.  He  was 
vigorously  opposed  to  sin  but  what  Emma  did  not  like  was 
that  I  was  considered  to  be  the  major  sinner. 

I  won't  read  the  notes,  but  the  point  of  all  this  was 
that  Brother  Gunn  was  a  missionary  from  the  Presbyterian 
Church  who  was  sent  to  organize  this  church,  which  was 
organized  as  a  community  church,  but  under  the  sponsorship 
of  the  Presbyterian  denomination. 
This  was  the  only  church  there? 

Yes.   Naturally  the  church  was  open  to  all  who  conformed 
to  baptism  and  a  belief  in  Christ  as  the  Son  of  God.   Mr. 
Gunn  was  sent  as  the  field  organizer  and  had  been  working 
with  a  canvass  of  the  community. 

The  point  was  that  as  part  of  the  sermon,  which  was 
very  orthodox,  fundamentalist,  Brother  Gunn  proceeded  to 


Packard:     tell  that  it  was  a  slave  girl  who  guided  her  master  to  the 
Lord  and  then  explained  that  slavery  didn't  hold  so  much  in 
those  days  but  while  people  were  held  in  debt  and  mortgaged 
to  the  limit  of  their  resources  it  was  virtual  slavery. 
This  is  from  Emma's  notes: 

"So  this  was  the  kind  of  sermons  they  listened  to 
on  Sundays!   Some  of  them  were  already  disgruntled. 
It  didn't  take  a  very  subtle  person  to  see  that  his 
sympathies  were  already  with  the  Welfare  League.   That 
was  the  one  that  was  organized  to  take  up  the  settlers' 
cudgels  as  against  the  administration.   So  they  were 
organized . " 

This  tells  about  the  Welfare  League: 

"And  presently  he  may  be  a  Moses  leading  the  children 
of  Delhi  out  of  bondage,  but  what  a  start  for  a  community 
church!   The  inference  through  the  sermon  was  quite 
plain.   That  most  of  the  residents  were  sinners,  except 
present  company.   Again,  maybe  it  was  only  my  egotism 
that  was  hurt,  but  this  time  the  inferences  were  decidedly 
not  complimentary  to  my  husband,  who,  of  course,  was 
the  'state.'   He  carries  out  these  dastardly  acts  of 
taking  a  poor  man's  money  from  him.   The  fact  that  it's 
never  been  done  yet  doesn't  seem  to  matter.   But  now 
I  am  in  the  position  of  having  said  I  will  support 
financially  any  church  the  people  would  organize. 
And  in  supporting  it  I  will  apparently  be  supporting 
one  more  force  to  tear  down  and  destroy  the  faith  of 
the  community  in  the  land  settlement  work  that  was 
designed  to  help  them." 

Baum:       This  was  when  things  were  really  hot,  huh? 

Packard:    Yes. 

Baum:       Near  the  end'  of  the  trail. 

Packard:     Yes,  so  far  as  I  was  concerned.   Several  things  happened 

as  a  result  of  the  developing  circumstances. 

The  Land  Settlement  Board  held  a  meeting  in  Delhi  to 

hear  complaints  from  the  Welfare  League  members  and  to 


Packard:     make  up  their  own  minds  as  to  what  the  real  conditions 

were.   I  was  completely  satisfied  with  the  results  of  this 

A  hearing  was  held  in  Delhi  by  representatives  of  the 
Veterans'  Administration.   One  of  the  trainees  who  had 
been  completely  noncooperative  was  assigned  the  task  of 
bringing  disgruntled  settlers  in  to  testify.   Every  care 
was  taken  to  keep  me  from  knowing  who  testified.   I  presume 
they  feared  I  would  act  against  them.   In  any  case,  the  record 
of  this  hearing,  which  was  sent  to  Governor  Richardson,  was 
sent  to  me  for  comment.   The  following  is  a  condensation  of 
the  points  raised  and  my  replies: 

(a)   The  price  of  the  land  was  excessive  as  compared 
to  similar  land  in  the  vicinity. 

(ans.)   The  price  of  the  land  was  set  after  a  careful 
investigation  of  300  farms  in  the  area  by  the  University 
of  California. 

(b)  The  cost  of  leveling  and  installing  laterals  was 
more  than  the  printed  estimates  called  for. 

(ans.)   This  is  a  positive  statement  with  no  evidence 
to  substantiate  it.   No  printed  estimate  of  the  cost 
of  individual  leveling  and  piping  were  ever  made. 

(c)   Efficient  and  competent  advice  and  instruction 
was  not  furnished  by  the  state  to  the  degree  which  might 
be  expected  from  the  language  of  the  Act  and  the  literature 
published  by  the  state. 

(ans.)   The  wording  of  the  Act  is  as  follows:   "to  demon 
strate  the  value  of  adequate  capital  and  direction 
in  subdividing  and  preparing  land  for  settlement." 
The  Act  also  says,  "The  Board  shall  appoint  such 
experts,  technical  and  clerical  assistance,  as  may 
prove  necessary."   I  then  enumerated  the  long  list 


Packard:        of  services  provided  by  the  state.   I  ended  by  saying, 
"In  addition  to  the  services  above  outlined,  two  men 
were  employed  full-time  to  do  nothing  but  give  instruction 
and  help  to  the  trainees.   These  men  were  in  almost 
daily  contact  with  the  Veterans'  Bureau  representatives, 
who  never  intimated  to  the  state  that  the  training  was 
not  satisfactory." 

(d)   "That  in  many  cases  beneficiaries  of  the  Bureau 
lost  at  least  a  year's  time  because  of  the  unsatisfactory 
work  and  incompetent  development  instruction." 

(ans.)   "Six  out  of  eighteen  trainees  have  not  been 
in  Delhi  a  year  and  have  experienced  no  losses.   Nine 
others  made  no  claim  of  loss.   Three  reported  a  loss 
of  trees—which  were  replaced  in  each  case  free  of 
charge . " 

(e)   "That  the  record  of  quick  returns  from  intercrops 
or  yearly  corps  does  not  substantiate  the  predictions 
made  in  the  literature  advertising  the  Delhi  project." 

(ans.)  "No  prediction  has  been  made  in  any  literature 
regarding  intercrops  which  is  misleading. --No  testimony 
was  given  to  prove  this  other  than  opinion." 

(f)  "The  Delhi  Cooperative  Association  has  been  of 
little  practical  assistance  to  the  beneficiaries  of 
the  Bureau." 

(ans.)   "The  Cooperative  Association  has  been  fostered 
by  the  state  in  every  way  possible.   The  activities 
have  been  subsidized  by  the  state,  and  the  officers 
of  the  administration  have  given  time  and  money  to 
promote  the  organization."  I  then  supported  this  state 
ment  with  figures  and  facts. 

(g)   Concerns  charges  of  discrimination  against  ex- 
service  men,  which  I  denied. 

(h)    Concerns  the  charge  that  there  has  not  been  the 
degree  of  harmony  between  ex-service  men,  other  settlers, 
and  the  state  that  there  should  have  been. 

(i)   Charges  that  the  system  of  loans  to  trainees  was 
somewhat  uncertain  and  variable. 


Packard:        (j)   "That  it  is  doubtful  that  some  of  the  trainees 
should  remain  in  view  of  the  records  so  far  made." 
To  which  I  agreed. 

(k)   "That  there  is  a  very  earnest  desire  on  the  part 
of  the  majority  of  trainees  that  their  enterprise  shall 
succeed."  I  agreed. 

The  nature  of  the  recommendations  is  we 11 -summarized 
by  the  following: 

"That  immediate  surveys  be  made  of  each  beneficiary 
in  order  to  determine  his  present  situation,  and  a 
conference  held  with  the  state  official  in  order  to 
ascertain  what  his  future  power  may  be  in  order  to 
determine  whether  the  individual  trainee  shall  be 
continued  or  transferred  to  some  other  character  of 
training. " 

My  general  reply  to  this  was  as  follows: 

"I  feel  that  the  survey  proposed  by  the  Veterans' 
Bureau  might  be  desirable,  although  the  condition 
of  trainees  has  already  been  surveyed  several  times, 
as  many  as  five  distinct  budgets  having  been  made  for 
trainees  by  representatives  of  the  Veterans'  Bureau. 
I  feel  that  enough  isi  known  about  them  now  to  make 
definite  recommendations.   Assurance  of  loans  can  be 
granted  provided  conditions  warrant  them,  but  that  is 
as  far  as  the  state  can  go." 


charges  of  incompetence  I  made  the  following  statement: 

"The  fact  that  the  Delhi  project  is  solvent  and 
shows  a  clear  surplus  of  over  $250,000.00  is  at  least 
evidence  that  the  state's  business  has  been  protected. 
The  following  record  of  the  prices  charged  by  the 
state,  and  the  prices  recommended  by  the  Concrete 
Pipe  Manufacturers'  Association  of  California  shows 
that  the  pipe  made  by  the  state  which  totals  more  than 
140  miles,  has  been  made  at  a  great  saving  to  the  state. 

Diameter  State  price  Assoc.  price 

30  $1.40  $2.26 

24  1.00  1.50 

20  .80  1.02 

18  .65  .86 

16  .40  .69 

14  .35  .55 

12  .30  .42 

10  .20  .34 

6  .15  .27 


Packard:        The  amount  charged  by  the  state  includes  an  ample  margin 
of  safety  above  the  cost. 

"We  invite  the  closest  analysis  of  our  cost  accounts 
of  pipe  manufacture,  pipe  laying  and  other  engineering 
work.   The  leveling  has  cost  considerably  less  than 
the  leveling  of  adjoining  farms  due  to  the  fact  that 
the  pipe  line  is  made  at  the  lowest  cost  possible. 
The  irrigation  system  is  as  complete  as  any  in  the 
State  of  California  and  has  given  excellent  satisfaction. 
The  total  cost  of  irrigation,  including  the  charge  of 
the  Turlock  Irrigation  District,  runs  around  $4.00 
an  acre  which  is  a  low  charge  as  compared  with  charges 
in  other  districts  of  the  state.   A  complete  drainage 
system  is  working  in  connection  with  the  irrigation 
system.   The  results  of  drainage  have  been  somewhat 
spectacular  and  have  been  the  cause  of  considerable 
interest  on  the  part  of  engineers  interested  in  this 

"A  saving  of  20%  in  buildings  has  been  secured  as 
the  service  has  been  paid  for  by  the  settlers,  and  this 
can  be  proved  from  the  figures  in  our  files.   Our 
building  service  has  been  outstanding  in  its  efficiency. 
The  desire  of  the  state  has  been  to  put  a  minimum 
amount  of  money  in  buildings  and  many  thousands  of 
dollars  have  been  saved  settlers  through  this  advice. 

"The  agricultural  advice  has  been  sound  and  the 
development  of  the  project  so  far  has  been  based  on 
this  advice.   Over  1,800  acres  have  been  planted  to 
alfalfa  and  the  yields  have  been  remarkably  good.   The 
varieties  of  trees  and  vines  have  been  actually  purchased 
through  state  effort.   One  of  the  dairy  herds  on  the 
settlement  had  the  highest  average  of  any  dairy  herd 
in  California  in  April  of  this  year.   In  August  this 
same  herd  included  the  highest  producing  individual 
according  to  the  records  of  the  U.  S.  Department  of 
Agriculture.   The  sweet  potatoes  produced  in  the  settle 
ment  have  been  of  unusual  quality  and  this  has  been 
recognized  by  the  shippers.   Last  year's  return  from 
potatoes  was  not  satisfactory  on  account  of  market 
conditions  and  lack  of  shipment.   Over  three  cars  of 
fertilizer  have  been  handled  through  the  state  and  as 
a  result  the  production  of  alfalfa  has  more  than  doubled. 

"In  the  testimony  of  Major  Bates,  in  answering  this 
question-- 'You  haven't  received  the  instruction  or 
assistance  you  thought  you  would  receive?',  he  uses  the 
following  language,  "Absolutely  not.1   Taking  his 
case  as  an  illustration,  the  state  gave  him  the 


Packard:        engineering  service  in  the  leveling  of  his  land, 
designing  and  supervising  the  construction  of  his 
buildings,  purchased  the  trees  that  were  put  out  on 
his  place  and  made  a  hundred  replacements  of  those 
that  died  the  first  year,  due  to  no  fault  of  the 
state's.   This  replacement  was  secured  through  the 
nursery.   The  vines  have  been  cared  for,  pruned  and 
trellised  according  to  state  advice.   At  least  three 
demonstrations  have  been  conducted  on  his  vineyard. 
The  state  has  had  experts  from  the  University  help  him 
in  pruning  his  trees  and  vines  and  in  addition  to  this 
personal  service  and  these  demonstrations,  he  has  been 
given  written  instruction  in  practically  all  the  oper 
ations  that  he  has  followed.   The  state  conducted  a 
campaign  against  army  worms  which  infested  his  vineyard 
during  his  absence  from  the  settlement.   I  am  unable 
to  think  of  any  development  on  his  place  in  which 
assistance  has  not  been  granted. 

"In  several  cases  mistakes  have  been  acknowledged 
and  in  most  of  these  cases  these  mistakes  have  been 
made  by  settlers  who  have  been  employed  by  the  state 
in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  the  act.   In  fact 
some  of  the  settlers  who  testified  to  many  mistakes 
made  by  the  state  were  themselves  the  cause  of  these 
very  mistakes.   In  spite  of  the  fact  the  state  has 
endeavored  to  employ  settlers  wherever  possible,  the 
mistakes  that  have  been  made  have  certainly  not  been 
in  excess  of  the  normal  errors  that  occur  in  any 
development  plan. 

"The  handling  of  the  unusual  conditions  incident  to 
the  light  character  of  the  soil  and  the  heavy  winds 
has  been  the  cause  of  much  favorable  comment.   The 
progress  that  has  been  made  has  been  far  in  excess 
of  the  progress  made  by  any  of  the  old  residents  of 
this  district  and  the  losses  that  have  occurred  in  the 
handling  of  the  elements  have  been  no  greater  than  the 
losses  due  to  natural  conditions  in  other  places. 
For  example,  as  much  alfalfa  has  been  lost  in  the 
Durham  settlement  due  to  the  character  of  their 
heavy  soil  as  has  been  lost  in  Delhi  due  to  the  action 
of  the  wind." 


Packard  Resigns  as  Superintendent  of  Delhi 

Baum:       What  happened  next?  You  seemed  to  be  running  into  trouble. 

Packard:     Several  things  happened.   The  whole  structure  seemed  to 

be  falling  on  my  head.   I  don't  recall  the  exact  sequence 
of  events,  but  I  will  continue  the  enumeration  of  events 
which  I  started  with.   The  Veterans'  Bureau  recommended 
that  all  eighteen  trainees  withdraw  from  the  colony. 

Baum:       Why?  Where  could  they  get  a  better  chance? 

Packard:     Well,  not  all  of  the  trainees  left.   Several  remained  and 
made  good.   I  agreed  that  the  majority  might  not  succeed 
and  should  leave.   But  I  certainly  did  not  agree  that  all 
should  leave. 

Dr.  Mead  left  on  a  trip  to  Australia,  leaving  Kreutzer 
in  charge  of  the  administrative  duties  which  he  had  been 

The  financial  situation  was  becoming  critical.   The 
money  in  the  original  appropriation  had  been  used  up, 
so  Kreutzer  and  I  had  to  go  to  Sacramento  to  negotiate 
a  loan  of  $10,000.00  from  the  State  Controller.   The 
loan  was  to  meet  certain  payments  which  would  be  due 
before  income  would  enable  us  to  pay.   This  emergency  was 
met  and  the  loan  repaid. 

Baum:       What  did  you  do  next  when  your  money  ran  out? 

Packard:    We  had  to  go  to  the  Federal  Land  Bank  and  make  arrangements 
with  the  Land  Bank  to  make  loans  directly  to  settlers, 


Packard:     where  we  had  already  loaned  money.   Upon  receiving  the 
new  loans  the  settlers  would  pay  the  loans  from  the 
state.   The  settlers  would  then  owe  the  Land  Bank  instead 
of  the  state.   And  the  state  would  have  money  to  loan  to 
other  settlers  to  keep  the  thing  going. 

When  Mead  returned  from  Australia  he  immediately 
sent  his  resignation  to  the  Governor,  saying  that  he  was 
not  available  for  reappointtnent  to  the  Board  because  he 
had  accepted  a  position  as  Commissioner  of  Reclamation 
in  Washington. 

Baum:       So  he  didn't  get  you  out  of  a  mess  like  you  were  hoping. 

Packard:     No,  he  didn't.   Governor  Richardson,  who  had  never  been 
a  Mead  supporter,  appointed  Mr.  Wooster,  an  old-time 
real  estate  promoter,  to  the  chairmanship  of  the  Land 
Settlement  Board.   His  policy,  as  expressed  to  me  was 
"root,  hog,  or  die."   Strangely  enough,  Mr.  Wooster 
wanted  me  to  stay  and  sent  me  a  handwritten  letter  on 
Pacific  Union  Club  stationery  expressing  his  confidence 
in  me.   I  was>however,  completely  opposed  to  Wooster "s 

policies . 

Articles  for  and  against  Delhi  began  to  appear,  the 
most  notable  being  one  written  by  the  venerable  Edward  F. 
Adams,  father  of  Frank  Adams  and  founder  of  the  Commonwealth 
Club,  entitled  "The  Truth  about  Delhi." 

In  view  of  all  this  I  decided  that  I  could  do  nothing 
in  trying  to  carry  out  the  policies  of  the  original 


Packard:     Board  and  sent  in  my  resignation,  which  was  accepted. 

Baum:       Before  you  tell  about  your  next  job,  I  have  a  few  more 

questions  to  ask  you  about  Delhi.   I  wonder  if  you'd  like 
to  read  this  clipping  into  the  record  and  then  I'll  ask 
you  a  few  questions. 

Packard:  After  the  hearing  the  committee  reported  to  the  legislature 
that  funds  should  be  appropriated  to  make  necessary  adjust 
ments  . 

Baum:       Adjustments  mean  reducing  the  amount  they'd  have  to  pay? 

Packard:     Yes,  as  indicated  by  the  following  account.   This  is 
April  15,  1925. 

"Three  bills  designed  to  bring  relief  to  settlers 
of  the  Delhi  Land  Settlement  Colony  passed  the  assembly 
today.   One  measure  appropriates  $250,000.00  to  pay 
existing  obligations  and  operating  expenses,  to  be 
repaid  to  the  state  with  interest.   Another  bill 
amends  the  Land  Settlement  Act  authorizing  a  reduction 
in  the  price  of  unsold  lands  and  a  revision  of  existing 
contracts  for  settlers  to  meet  present  price  conditions. 
The  reduction  amounts  to  approximately  thirty  per 
cent.   The  third  measure  eliminates  interest  charges 
for  the  next  five  years  on  the  two  million  dollars 
loaned  from  the  general  fund  of  the  Land  Settlement 
Board  for  the  development  of  the  Delhi  project,  this 
being  necessary  to  equalize  the  amount  of  reductions 
in  payments  proposed  to  the  settlers  during  the  next 
five  years.   Another  bill  which  would  appropriate 
$350,000.00  for  the  Land  Settlement  Board  with  which 
to  pay  to  the  state  its  arrears,  which  is  merely  a 
method  of  balancing  the  books,  was  amended  and  prob 
ably  will  be  voted  on  tomorrow." 

Baum:       Did  Dougherty  remain  on  as  superintendent  there? 

Packard:    Well,  he  remained  for  a  while  after  I  left,  but  finally 

sold  his  farm  and  left.  Paul  was  very  loyal  to  the  Delhi 
colony,  to  Mead,  and  to  me,  as  evidenced  by  the  following 
statement  which  he  made  while  criticism  of  the  project 


Packard:     was  at  its  height. 

"Conditions  are  not  as  dark  in  the  colony  as  some 
of  the  Welfare  Leaguers  seem  to  think.   We  think  the 
colony  is  proving  a  success.   The  growth  of  trees 
and  vines  is  better  than  we  had  anticipated.   If  a 
man  comes  here  with  $2,500.00  cash  and  with  a  family, 
he's  got  to  go  out  and  get  to  work  to  tide  him  along. 
In  the  second  year  with  alfalfa  a  man  can  do  much  better. 
It's  much  more  in  the  man  than  in  the  amount  of 
capital  he  has  when  he  comes  here.   There  have  been 
few  failures.   We  now  have  85%  of  the  original  settlers. 
Those  who  left  were  not  all  failures  as  some  of  them 
left  because  of  sales  or  because  of  other  reasons, 
among  them  death  in  the  family  bringing  them  inherit 
ances.   I  think  the  majority  of  these  people  are  going 
to  pull  through.   Some  men  fail  with  $10,000.00, 
others  made  a  success  with  a  capital  of  but  $1,000.00 
in  land  settlement.   Some  settlers  who  were  making 
the  best  success  came  in  with  as  little  as  $1,500.00. 
The  contention  of  representatives  of  the  Delhi  Settlers 
Welfare  League  that  lands  in  the  colony  have  been 
priced  exorbitantly  high  is  answered  by  Dougherty 
that  the  price  paid  averages  $225.00  an  acre  and  that 
this  represents  the  cost  of  the  land  to  the  state 
plus  development  and  a  safe  margin.   This  development 
work,  he  points  out,  includes  the  installation  of 
main  pipe  lines  to  the  allotment  boundary  and  whatever 
pumps  are  required  as  well  as  the  water  rights.   Once 
the  colony  is  developed,  says  Dougherty,  the  land  will 
be  of  high  productivity  and  value  and  adapted  to 
permanent  crops,  such  as  peaches,  grapes  and  the 
dairy  industry." 

This  appraisal  by  Paul  Dougherty  more  or  less  reflects 

my  own  opinion  at  the  time.   And  it  also  reflects  the 

intention  of  the  state  when  the  land  settlement  bill 

was  first  passed. 
Baum:       I  think,  considering  the  time,  Mr.  Dougherty's  statement 

was  optimistic. 
Packard:     Later  on  Dougherty  told  me  that  his  Thompson  seedless 

vineyard  produced  as  much  as  sixteen  tons  to  the  acre, 

which  was  a  record  yield  for  the  state. 


Packard:        I  think  the  failure  at  Delhi,  at  that  time,  was 

simply  the  forerunner  of  the  failure  of  tens  of  thousands 
of  farms  over  the  state  of  California  that  were  foreclosed 
by  the  banks  and  taken  over  by  the  banks  during  the 
depression.   As  Oscar  Shattuck  said,  much  later,  "If  we'd 
begun  the  project  in  1939,  war  prices  would  have  put  the 
thing  over  without  anybody  struggling  at  all.   It  was 
just  the  wrong  decade." 

Baum:       They  said  that  there  were  seventy-five  farms  still  open. 
At  the  end  of  the  second  year  there  were  seventy-five 
farms  still  available  out  of  the  total. 

Packard:     Yes,  I  think  that  was  it.   Altogether  when  I  left,  there 
were  two  hundred  eighty  five  settlers  in  the  colony. 

My  final  act  so  far  as  the  colony  was  concerned  was 
testimony  before  a  hearing  that  was  held  in  Delhi  after 
I  had  left.   The  hearing  was  held  by  a  special  committee 
appointed  by  the  legislature  to  conduct  an  investigation 
of  the  colony  and  the  status  of  the  colony.   At  that  time 
I  was  opposed  by  nearly  everyone  who  attended  the  meeting. 
All  the  settlers  were  there  and  many  of  them  were  very 
antagonistic—people  whom  I  had  befriended  and  whom  I  thought 
were  my  friends  had  suddenly  become  very  antagonistic 
in  a  very  obvious  way.   If  I  went  up  to  speak  to  them  I 
could  see  that  it  was  embarrassing,  even  though  they  might 
have  wanted  to  talk  to  me,  it  was  embarrassing  for  t'-em  to 
do  it.   So  I  sat  through  the  hearing  listening  to  the 



Mrs.    ; 

Packard:     charges  that  were  being  made,  many  of  which  were  completely 
unfounded,  and  in  the  evening  was  asked  to  express  my 
viewpoint.   At  that  time  I  said  that  I  realized  that  the 
situation  was  bad  and  that  probably  adjustments  would 
have  to  be  made  in  order  to  carry  the  thing  through. 
But  I  still  thought  that  if  it  was  supported,  it  could 
be  made  a  success. 

What  were  these  notes  made  for,  Mrs.  Packard? 
I  had,  for  three  years,  been  doing  newspaper  reporting 
for  the  Sacramento  Bee  and  the  Fresno  Republican  and  the 
Stockton  Record .   So  I  had  checked  all  these  clippings 
and  had  quite  a  record  and  was  used  to  tracking  the  facts 
of  things  that  were  going  on.   So  I  thought  this  was 
getting  so  hot  and  unpleasant  that  it  would  be  just  as 
well  to  have  something  down  about  it  because  we  would  forget. 
And,  partly  for  the  sake  of  the  record,  I'd  have  something 
to  refer  to.   And,  partly  just  for  my  own  satisfaction 
to  have  it  down. 

Baum:       So  you  just  took  these  as  kind  of  a  public  diary. 

Packard:     Well,  yes. 

Let  me  just  say,  we  have  a  record  of  all  the  clippings 


that  Mrs.  Packard  sent  to  the  papers.   And  just  a  few  of 
the  headings  will  show  something  of  the  type  of  thing 
that  was  going  on:   "Berkeley  Bankers  Will  Visit  Delhi", 
"Plan  New  Station  at  Delhi  Settlement,"  "Delhi  Veterans  In 
itiate  Recruits  ,"  "Farm  Bureau  Council  Meets  State  Leaders," 

*Mrs.  Packard's  news  clipping  books  have  been  deposited  in 
the  Bancroft  Library  in  the  Walter  Packard  Collection. 


Packard ; 






"Rabbits  Menace  Delhi,  Settlers  Plan  New  Drive,"  "Vice- 
President  of  the  Peach  Growers'  Association  Will  Meet 
Fruit  Growers  at  Delhi,"  and  so  forth.   "Rules  Issued 
at  Delhi  for  Use  of  Water,"  "Four  Southern  Pacific  Officials 
Visit  Delhi,"  "Delhi  Boys  Form  New  Scout  Group,"  "Delhi 
Peach  Men  Hear  Tree  Address., "  Old  Settlers  at  Delhi  Enjoy 
Annual  Banquet,"  "Organize  Orchestra  in  Delhi  Section," 
"Demonstration  Agent  Assists  Delhi  Group,"  "Eleven  Hundred 
Acres  Alfalfa  Planted  at  Delhi." 
Community  type  things  that  went  on. 

I've  got  some  further  questions  for  you  now.   I  noticed 
that  you  had  a  lot  of  planning  in  your  Delhi  program,  the 
settlers  apparently  would  work  with  you  before  they  would 
go  ahead.   And  there  was  planning  in  the  way  the  town 
was  going  to  develop.   How  did  the  people  react  to  that? 
Did  they  object  to  that  planning? 

Not  at  all.   They  thought  it  was  fine.   They  were  all  very 
much  for  that.   And  that  was  one  reason  why  they  came  to 
the  colony  in  the  first  place  because  it  was  advertised 
as  an  area  that  was  planned  and  where  the  University  was 
working  with  the  Land  Settlement  Board  and  where  conditions 
would  be,  according  to  the  theory,  quite  ideal.   So  they 
were  all  very  much  in  favor  of  it. 

So  there  had  already  been  a  selective  factor  in  that  those 
who  decided  to  come  approved  of  the  plan  and  the  idea. 


Packard:     Oh,  yes.   They  wouldn't  have  come  if  they  hadn't.   They 

came  there  largely  because  of  that. 
Baum:       Then  I  suppose  we  can't  use  that  as  an  example  of  how  any 

population  would  react  to  planning,  since  they  were 

already  selected  by  that  factor. 
Packard:     From  that  particular  angle  I  suppose  that's  true.   I  don't 

know  though  that  people  in  general  are  against  planning. 

They  generally  like  things  that  are  planned  out. 
Baum:       I  don't  know.   Every  time  you  try  to  plan  a  city  or 

anything,  or  one  block,  or  zoning  or  anything,  you  have 

a  lot  of  agitation.   And  some  people  object  to  the  idea 

of  planning. 
Packard:     They  didn't  have  to  come  to  Delhi.   I  think  the  objection 

to  planning  comes  in  an  area  that's  already  established 

and  the  planning  may  change  things.   I  think  here,  in  a 

new  area,  where  you  have  a  new  settlement,  they  would 

expect  to  have  it  planned. 
Baum:       We  always  have  this  idea  of  farmers  as  being  people  who 

are  each  their  own  individual  planners. 
Packard:     Yes,  that's  true.   But  the  farmer  is  also  a  part  of  the 

community  especially  on  irrigation  projects  where  he  must 

work  in  harmony  with  others. 

*  "An  Economic  Analysis  of  California  Land  Settlements  at  Durham 
and  Delhi,"  Roy  James  Smith,  1937,  424  pp.  (Unpublished  Ph.D. 
thesis  of  Giannini  Foundation) 



A  Try  at  Banking  and  Loan  Work  July  1924  -  June  1926 

Baum:       After  you  left  Delhi,  what  did  you  do  next? 

Packard:        Anticipating  my  resignation  as  superintendent  at  Delhi, 
I  had  taken  a  civil  service  examination  for  a  job  with  the 
Bureau  of  Reclamation.   It  was  a  job  which  dealt  with  the 
settlement  of  land  on  a  reclamation  project  and  I  thought 
that  my  experience  at  Delhi  would  enable  me  to  avoid  mistakes 
and  perhaps  do  a  better  job  than  someone  else  who  had  not 
had  the  experience  that  I'd  had. 

I  passed  the  examination.   I  saw  Dr.  Mead,  who  had 
become  Commissioner  of  Reclamation,  about  three  months  later 
when  he  was  in  Berkeley  on  Bureau  of  Reclamation  matters.   He 
told  me  at  that  time  that  I  had  passed  the  highest  in  the 
written  examination,  but  that  he  thought  that  my  experience 
was  not  the  kind  that  would  be  of  value  to  the  Bureau. 
He  said  that  Mr.  Wooster  had  told  him  that  I  had  approved  loans 
to  settlers  that  should  never  have  been  approved.   And  he 
said  that  there  were  other  things  where  he  felt  that  I 
was  not  competent.   This  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  every 
loan  that  was  approved  at  Delhi  was  approved  by  him,  not 
by  me.   I  simply  recommended  loans  and  they  were  approved 
by  him  as  chairman  of  the  Board.   But  in  any  case  that  cut 
off  this  opportunity  for  continued  public  employment. 


Packard:        I  couldn't  go  back  to  the  University  because  by  that  time 
the  Delhi  Colony  was  getting  pretty  badly  advertised  all  over 
the  state  and  the  University,  quite  logically,  could  not 
take  me  back.   But  this  does  not  mean  that  I  was  abandoned 
by  my  friends  in  the  University.   Quite  the  contrary.   They 
were  always  ready  to  help  when  I  called  on  them.   Frank  Adams, 
Charles  Shaw,  Frederick  Bioletti,  Knowles  Ryerson,  Professor 
Etcheverry,  and  later  Dr.  Harry  Wellman,  each  in  his  way, 
played  his  part  in  the  shaping  of  my  career  after  leaving 

But  it  was  Howard  Whipple,  then  president  of  the  First 
National  Bank  of  Turlock  and  later  a  Vice-President  of  the 
Bank  of  America,  who  provided  my  first  job  in  the  commercial 
world.   He  recommended  me  to  the  president  of  the  Western 
State  Life  Insurance  Company  who  was  looking  for  someone 
to  head  the  mortgage  loan  department. 

The  job  required  a  great  deal  of  traveling  up  and  down 
the  state  examining  properties  on  which  the  company  had 
already  made  loans  and  examining  property  on  which  loans 
were  being  considered.   In  my  review  of  what  the  company  had 
done,  I  found  that  mistakes  had  been  made  in  judgment  that 
astonished  me.   Loans  were  made  on  land  that  I  thought  was 
so  inferior  that  no  bank  would  loan  money  on  them  at  all. 
And  I  found  one  case  where  the  appraisal  for  one  loan  was 
made  on  an  entirely  different  farm—not  the  one  on  which 
the  loan  was  granted.   I  also  was  very  much  opposed  to  the 


Packard:    attitude  of  some  of  the  officials  of  the  company  who  were 
in  positions  to  reject  or  approve  loans.   In  some  cases 
farmers  who  had  spent  a  great  deal  of  money  in  developing 
their  properties  and  had  good  going  concerns  but  were  tem 
porarily  in  difficulty  were  closed  out.   Although  they  had 
thousands  of  dollars  in  equities,  they  were  unable  to  meet 
their  payments. 

Having  had  the  attitude  that  the  success  of  the  farmer 
was  the  important  consideration,  I  was  galled  by  what 
appeared  to  me  to  be  a  wrong  attitude.   I  began  to  feel 
that  I  was  in  a  position  that  I  would  not  enjoy. 

Baum:       Was  this  a  scheme  to  get  the  farms? 

Packard:    No.   This  was  during  the  beginning  of  the  agricultural 

depression  when  loans  made  on  farm  mortgages  were  beginning 
to  be  foreclosed  all  over  the  state.   The  Bank  of  America 
took  over  thousands  of  farms.  All  lending  institutions  did 
the  same  thing.   I  simply  got  in  at  the  beginning  of  the 
great  depression. 

Baum:       Well,  I  wondered  if  this  Western  States  Life  Insurance 
Company  had  that  policy  of  trying  to  get  the... 

Packard:     No,  not  an  avowed  policy.   It  was  just  business.   If  borrowers 
were  delinquent,  they  were  foreclosed,  and  that  was  that.   The 
farmers  may  have  been  very  fine  people  and  making  every 
effort  in  the  world  to  succeed  and  with  some  prospect  of 
success,  but  the  company  interest  came  first.   This  was  in 
sharp  contrast  to  the  attitude  that  we  had  at  Delhi 


Packard:    where  we  were  interested  in  the  success  of  the  settlers. 

The  insurance  company  was  too,  but  its  primary  interest  was 
in  getting  its  interest  on  its  loans.   If  a  man  didn't 
pay,  that  was  that.   He  was  foreclosed  according  to  the 

In  retrospect,  I  realize  that  I  was  facing  a  problem 
involving  issues  and  relationships  which  neither  I  nor 
anyone  else  understood  clearly. 

In  any  case,  Mr.  Whipple  recommended  me  for  another 
job—which  if  I  made  good  would  be  the  vice  presidency  of 
the  Bank  of  Palo  Alto.   I  had  an  interview  with  Mr.  Philip 
Landsdale,  president  of  the  bank,  who  offered  me  the  job 
which,  if  I  made  good,  would  pay  $10,000.00  a  year.   I  was 
naive  enough  to  accept  the  job.   The  idea  of  living  in  Palo 
Alto  on  $10,000.00  a  year  appealed  to  all  of  us,  even  though 
neither  Emma  nor  I  had  ever  thought  of  me  as  a  banker. 
It  did  not  take  long  to  prove  that  such  premonitions  were 
correct.   I  simply  was  not  a  banker.   (  Laughter  ) 

Owens  Valley,  Consultant  for  the  Los  Angeles  Department  of 
Water  and  Power 

Packard:        Mr.  Landsdale  had  told  me  that,  as  vice  president,  I 
would  be  a  sort  of  public  relations  man  and  that  if  I 
were  called  upon  to  do  some  public  service  it  would  be  proper 
for  me  to  do  it.   So,  when  I  got  a  telephone  call  from  the 
head  of  the  Los  Angeles  Department  of  Water  and  Power  asking 
me  if  I  could  go  to  Owens  Valley  to  study  the  situation 


Packard:    and  formulate  any  suggestions  as  to  how  the  Department 

might  meet  the  opposition  of  the  residents  of  the  Valley  to 
the  City's  program.   I  was  inwardly  delighted  because  it 
seemed  to  me  to  be  the  very  kind  of  problem  I  would  like 
to  get  into.   I  think  Mr.  Landsdale  was  pleased  too,  because, 
by  that  time,  he  was  beginning  to  realize  that  I  was  not 
the  man  he  needed.   In  any  case,  I  accepted  the  assignment 
which  was  not  to  last  long.   But  on  the  night  train  to 
Mohave  I  felt,  again,  that  sense  of  insecurity  that  had 
engulfed  me  when  I  left  Delhi. 

I  arrived  in  Independence  during  the  peak  of  the  crisis, 
when  a  large  group  of  Owens  Valley  people  were  physically 
opposing  the  diversion  of  water  by  Los  Angeles. 

Baum:       It  seems  that  you  went  from  one  hot  spot  to  another. 

Packard:     Yes,  I  certainly  did.   But,  although  I  was  getting  back 
into  a  field  which  suited  my  temperament  and  training,  I 
was  not  entirely  happy.   I  remembered  the  fight  that  had 
occurred  when  the  Project  was  first  proposed.   Job  Harriman, 
the  Socialist  candidate  for  mayor  of  Los  Angeles,  had  opposed 
the  plan  because  Harry  Chandler  and  other  propertied  interests 
in  the  San  Fernando  Valley  which  they  owned  and  which  was 
to  be  irrigated  by  Owens  Valley  water.   Job,  whom  I  knew  and 
admired,  had  taken  my  brother  John  in  as  a  partner  in  his 
law  firm.   But  many  years  had  passed  since  those  earlier 
days  and  the  newly  created  Los  Angeles  Department  of  Water 
and  Power  was  headed  by  staunch  liberals  who  believed  in 


Packard:    public  ownership  of  both  water  and  power. 

Thus,  although  I  was  representing  a  powerful  corporation, 
the  L.A.  Department  of  Water  and  Power,  against  farmers  and 
others  in  Owens  Valley,  I  felt  that  the  overall  public 
good  outweighed  the  interests  of  the  relatively  small  number 
of  people  of  the  Valley,  provided  their  interests  were 
being  properly  cared  for  by  the  City.   I  found  that  the  City 
was  buying  land  at  prices  far  above  any  that  could  be  justified 
by  income  and  much  above  the  ordinary  market  price.   I  found, 
too,  that  production  of  wealth  in  the  Valley  was  not  very 
significant.   I  was  convinced  that  what  the  City  was  doing 
would  by  no  means  end  the  life  in  the  Valley.   The  recreational 
opportunities  were  superb  and  nothing  could  lessen  the  attrac 
tiveness  of  the  wonderful  mountain  scenery.   My  appraisal 
of  the  opposition  interests  in  the  Valley  was  affected 
adversely  by  the  corrupt  actions  of  the  president  of  the 
Owens  Valley  Irrigation  District  who  was  the  leader  of  the 
fight  against  the  City.   He  had  embezzled  thousands  of 
dollars  which  he  had  used  in  promoting  his  extensive  cattle 
business.   When  he  was  later  sent  to  the  penitentiary  the 
opposition  collapsed.  At  any  rate  I  made  a  favorable  report, 
and  was  later  asked  to  present  the  City's  case  at  a  public 
meeting  in  Los  Angeles. 

Baum:       What  was  your  duty  in  Owens  Valley  exactly? 

Packard:    I  was  to  survey  the  area  and  find  out  just  what  causing 

these  settlers  to  object.   The  City  was  paying  high  prices 


Packard:     for  the  land.   The  officials  in  charge  felt  that  the  City 
was  acting  justly  and  that  the  interests  of  the  growing 
population  in  Los  Angeles  far  outweighed  the  interests  of 
the  small  number  of  marginal  farmers  in  the  Valley.   It 
was  an  old,  old  settlement.   People  had  lived  there  for  a 
couple  of  generations,  and  it  was  home  to  them.   It  was 
an  isolated  community  before  the  days  of  automobiles; 
it  was  a  little  civilization  all  by  itself.   They  were 
closely  and  emotionally  tied  to  the  area.   It  is  a  beautiful 
valley  with  the  high  Sierras  to  the  west.  Mount  Whitney, 
the  highest  point  in  the  country,  was  in  contrast  to  Death 
Valley,  the  lowest  point  in  the  country,  to  the  east. 
The  pioneer  people  just  didn't  want  to  move.   They  got  big 
money  for  their  land,  to  be  sure,  but  money  didn't  compensate. 
Many  of  the  farmers  had  gotten  in  the  hands  of  real  estate 
promoters  who  sold  them  worthless  land  on  which  they  could 
not  make  a  living.  We  saw  several  of  these  people  hanging 
around  the  town  of  Independence  not  knowing  what  to  do  next. 
When  I  returned  to  Palo  Alto,  I  realized  that  my  tenure 
of  office  was  coming  to  an  end.   Mr.  Landsdale  had  a  large 
cattle  ranch  bordering  the  Pacheco  Pass  in  the  Coast  Range 
and  suggested  that  I  might  spend  part  of  my  time  helping 
him  manage  the  property.   But  I  had  no  interest  in  that  field 
and  was  not  inclined  to  want  to  try. 

When  my  position  with  the  Bank  of  Palo  Alto  was  terminated 
I  opened  a  consulting  office  in  San  Francisco.   Although  I 


Packard:     made  my  living  as  a  consultant  for  many  years  later  on, 
this  first  adventure  ended  within  a  period  of  two  weeks 
or  so,  because  I  secured  a  consulting  job  with  the  National 
Irrigation  Commission  of  Mexico,  which  lasted  about  four 
years.   I  was  indebted  to  Prof.  Charles  Shaw  of  the  Soil 
Department  of  the  College  of  Agriculture  for  this  assign 
ment.   The  Mexican  Commission  had  asked  Prof. Shaw  for  a 
soils  man  to  report  on  the  suitability  of  the  soils  in  the 
various  projects  the  Commission  was  building  and  Prof.  Shaw 
recommended  me.   This  opened  another  exciting  adventure  for 
me  and  the  family. 


MEXICO,  1926  -  1929 

Soils  Survey  Assignments  in  Guatimape",  Western  Chihuahua, 
Rio  Salado,  and  Other  Projects 


Packard:        My  employment  by  the  Comisi6n  Nacional  de  Irrigation 

of  Mexico  began  in  1926  on  a  temporary  basis.   The  Commission 
had  become  deeply  involved  in  an  irrigation  project  in  the 
state  of  Durango  and  wanted  a  soil  survey  made  of  the  area 
to  be  irrigated.   There  was  some  question  regarding  its 
suitability.   I  left  home  believing  that  I  would  be  gone 
three  or  four  months.   But  as  things  turned  out,  I  remained 
in  Mexico  until  the  latter  part  of  1929. 

I  reported  to  the  Commission  in  July  1926.   The  office 
was  in  a  picturesque  old  stone  building  called  Casa  Del  Lago, 
located  in  the  center  of  Chapultepec  Park.   Mr.  J.  Sanchez 
Mejorada,  chairman  of  the  Commission,  became  a  lifelong 
friend.   He  was  an  unusually  large  man,  well-proportioned, 
an  excellent  engineer,  linguist,  and  acutely  conscious  of 
the  social  problems  facing  Mexico.   I  was  given  a  desk  for 
my  headquarters  and  presented  with  maps  and  data  on  the 
Guatimape"  project  in  the  state  of  Durango  and  was  told  to 
leave  just  as  soon  as  I  felt  I  was  ready.   I  rented  a  room 
in  a  Mexican  home  with  the  full  intention  of  learning  Spanish 


Packard:    without  delay--a  task  which  I  neglected  shamefully  because 
the  young  Mexican  men  who  were  assigned  to  me  wanted  to 
speak  English.   As  I  remember  it,  I  never  occupied  the  room 
because  I  left  for  the  field  almost  immediately. 

I  was  met  in  Durango  by  an  American  engineer,  Fred  Hardy, 
representing  the  J.G.  White  Co.  of  New  York.   He  was  an 
old  Mexican  hand,  who  had  a  Mexican  wife  and  could,  of  course, 
speak  perfect  Spanish.   We  drove  the  sixty-odd  miles  to 
Guatimapein  a  model-T  Ford,  stopping  for  lunch  in  a  small 
adobe  town  where  I  had  my  first  acquaintance  with  a  typical 
toilet  in  a  small  Mexican  town.   The  seats  were  raised 
three  or  four  feet  above  the  floor  as  a  precautionary 
measure.   The  throne,  as  these  seats  were  called,  was 
located  over  a  yard  where  pigs  had  free  play.   I  found  this 
arrangement  much  better  than  others  that  I  encountered  where 
you  entered  the  pig  yard,  picked  up  a  stick  provided  for  the 
purpose ,  and  then  picked  your  location  with  your  back  to 
the  adobe  wall,  while  the  stick  kept  the  pigs  at  bay! 

In  any  case,  we  finally  reached  Guatimape",  which  is  a 
stop  on  the  railroad  running  north  from  Durango  which  was 
designed  to  serve  the  interests  of  Hacienda  Guatimape",  one  of 
the  famous  old  Spanish  holdings  devoted  to  cattle  raising. 
The  fighting  bulls  sent  from  Guatimape"  to  the  bull  ring  in 
Mexico  City  were  famous.   Juan  Lasoya,  the  owner  of  the 
hacienda  had  but  recently  returned  from  exile  in  Canada 
where  he  had  gone  during  the  Pancho  Villa  days.   He  and  his 


Packard:     frail  wife  were  very  lovable  characters.   Some  years  later 
I  was  a  guest  in  their  home  for  a  month  or  so. 

I  was  housed,  with  several  others,  in  one  of  several 
high-ceilinged  rooms  surrounding  a  court,  fifty  or  sixty 
feet  square.   It  was  the  original  hacienda  building,  made 
of  adobe,  with  thick  walls.   The  peon  workers  lived  in 
long  rows  of  adobe  houses  clustered  around  the  main  build 
ings  reminding  me  of  medieval  estates  I  had  seen  in  Europe. 
The  Guatimape"  River,  which  was  to  supply  the  irrigation 
water  for  the  project,  ran  through  the  hacienda  dividing 
the  building  area  into  two  parts.   The  proposed  project 
contained  about  50,000  acres.   The  land  formed  the  basin 
of  a  laguna  (lake)  which  had  no  outlet.  A  tunnel  was  to 
be  driven  through  the  hills  to  provide  drainage.   But 
I  found  the  soils  to  be  impossible.   The  content  of  salts, 
particularly  sodium  carbonate  (black  alkali)  was  far  above 
any  possible  tolerance.   I  therefore  had  to  submit  an 
adverse  report. 

I  found  that  the  land  had  been  sold  to  the  government 
by  four  army  generals,  one  of  whom  was  living  on  the  hacienda 
while  I  was  there.   I  decided  to  tell  the  general  what  I 
thought  of  the  project  before  leaving  for  Mexico  City  to 
file  my  report.   He  said  he  thought  I  had  a  lot  of  nerve  to 
talk  to  him  as  I  did  but  added  that  it  made  no  difference 
to  him  because  the  land  had  been  paid  for.   He  added,  too, 
that  he  knew  the  land  was  no  good.   In  any  case  three  of 


Packard:     these  four  generals  were  shot  before  I  left  Mexico—two  during 
an  attempted  revolution,  the  other  in  a  brawl.  (  Laughter  ) 
In  contrast  the  Mexican  technicians  who  were  working  with 
me  were  delighted  that  I  would  report  against  a  project 
that  had  been  approved  by  an  important  American  engineering 
company.   The  Commission  was  understandably  concerned  over 
my  report  and  sent  two  chemists  to  GuatimapS  to  check  my 
findings.   They  reported  a  higher  concentration  of  salts 
that  I  had  found  and  the  project  was  abandoned. 

The  work,  however,  was  not  without  its  comical  side. 
Two  of  my  assistants,  who  were  supposed  to  be  soils  men, 
had  a  difficult  time  getting  adjusted  to  the  primitive 
conditions  at  GuatimapS.  At  one  time  I  had  to  go  to  Mexico 
City  and  left  instructions  for  considerable  field  work  to 
be  done  while  I  was  gone.  When  I  returned  I  found  that 
neither  of  the  men  had  left  the  hacienda  buildings  and  had 
used  the  small  amount  of  alcohol  we  had  planned  to  use  in 
testing  for  black  alkali,  for  alcohol  rubs. 

Baum:       What  was  your  relationship  with  the  J.G.  White  Co.?  Why 
did  the  Commission  hire  you? 

Packard:     I  was  employed  directly  by  the  Commission  and  had  no  relation 
ship  with  the  White  Co. ,  except  as  an  independent  technician 
whose  duty  was  to  check  up  on  the  soils  and  agricultural 
aspects  of  the  projects  the  company  was  working  on.   The 
Commission  wanted  a  completely  independent  study  of  the 
agricultural  and  economic  features  of  the  project  which  the 


Packard:    J.G.  White  Co.  had  approved  from  an  engineering  standpoint. 
The  Tightness  of  this  judgment  was  confirmed  in  the  case 
of  the  Guatimape"  project  which  had  been  approved  for  construc 
tion  by  the  White  Co.  before  I  made  my  report. 

Western  Chihuahua 

Packard:        A  somewhat  similar  situation  developed  on  the  second 
project  I  was  asked  to  examine.   It  was  on  the  Papigochic 
River  in  Western  Chihuahua,  a  tributary  of  the  Yaqui.   The 
chief  engineer  on  the  project  was  a  dam  expert.   His  book 
of  dam  construction  was  a  standard  text.   He  had  found 
a  wonderful  place  to  build  a  dam  and  was  very  anxious  to  go 
ahead.   But  the  soil  and  topography  were  very  unfavorable. 
The  mesa  land  to  be  irrigated  was  underlaid  with  an  iron- 
like  hard-pan,  often  exposed  on  the  surface  and  generally 
too  close  to  the  surface  for  successful  crop  production. 
As  it  happened,  Mr.  Frank  Weymouth,  one-time  chief  engineer 
for  the  U.S.  Bureau  of  Reclamation,  had  been  hired  by  the 
White  Co. ,  and  was  visiting  the  project  for  the  first  time 
while  I  was  there.   He  sought  me  out  and  expressed  his  fear  that 
the  project  would  not  be  successful.   He  supported  my 
adverse  report.   He  became  the  chief  engineer  for  the  company, 
a  fact  which  gave  me  a  good  deal  of  encouragement,  because, 
by  this  time,  the  over-all  manager  of  the  White  Co.  was 
ready  to  "boil  me  in  oil,"  as  he  jocularly  told  Emma  at 
an  Embassy  reception.  (  Laughter  ) 


Baum:       I  should  think  so.  (  Laughter  ) 

Packard:        There  was  one  incident  that  was  rather  interesting.  On 
the  way  going  out  to  the  project  I  had  hired  a  car  and  a 
driver  in  Chihuahua  to  make  this  trip,  which  would  take 
more  than  a  day.   We  camped  out  that  night  in  the  patio 
of  a  rancho,  consisting  of  adobe  buildings  on  three  sides 
and  open  on  the  fourth.   I  was  awakened  by  something 
tugging  at  my  pants  which  I  used  as  a  pillow.   I  raised 
up  on  an  elbow  to  face  a  Mexican,  crouched  by  my  head.   He 
obviously  wanted  my  pocket-book.   He  was  apparently  as 
frightened  as  I,  because  he  ran  back  into  one  of  the 
buildings.   Th«  whole  group  of  Mexicans  stood  around  as 
we  cooked  our  supper  and  breakfast  on  an  open  fire  but 
nothing  was  said  about  the  night's  incident. 

My  third  assignment  was  also  in  Chihuahua.   The  head 
quarters  were  at  Meoqui  on  the  Conchos  River  in  the  central 
part  of  the  state.   The  project  had  been  rejected  by  the 
J.G.  White  Company,  perhaps  because  it  involved  no  large 
dam.  (  Laughter  )   After  spending  some  time  going  over  the 
area  to  be  irrigated,  I  recommended  that  the  project  be 
built.   As  a  result,  the  engineering  features  of  the  project 
were  re-examined  and  the  project  was  approved  and  is  now  in 
successful  operation. 


The  Rio  Salado  Project 

Packard:        My  fourth  assignment  was  on  the  Don  Martin  project 

on  the  Rio  Salado  in  the  state  of  Nuevo  Le6n  in  northeastern 
Mexico,  not  far  from  the  Texas  border.   In  this  case  the 
project  involved  the  building  of  a  dam  to  store  water  for 
the  irrigation  of  a  rather  large  area  on  both  sides  of  the 
river.   The  American  engineer  in  charge  was  Andy  Weiss,  an 
old  Bureau  of  Reclamation  man.   On  examination  we  found 
that  much  of  the  land  was  underlaid  with  layers  of  solid 
gypsum,  which  made  the  project  questionable.   By  that  time 
Mr.  A.  Kocher ,  a  veteran  soil  survey  man  from  the  U.S. 
Department  of  Agriculture,  had  been  added  to  my  staff. 
By  making  a  reconnaissance  survey  of  the  soil  conditions 
on  both  sides  of  the  river  lower  down,  we  were  able  to  select 
an  alternate  area  of  excellent  brown  loam  soils,  well  adapted 
for  irrigation.   In  facing  this  discovery  the  engineers 
found  that  they  could  get  water  on  the  lower  land  at  an 
estimated  saving  of  half  a  million  pesos.   The  project 
was  approved  and  is  in  successful  operation. 

Chief  of  the  Department  of  Agronomy  of  the  National  Irrigation 

Baum:       Let's  see,  you  had  four  temporary  assignments? 

Packard:     No.   After  my  report  on  the  Guatimape"  project,  the  Commission 


Packard:     appointed  me  as  head  of  the  soils  department  of  the  Commission. 
My  title  was  "Jefe  De  Departmento  Agronomico  del  Comision 
Nacional  de  Irrigacion,"  and  I  was  placed  on  a  salary  of 
$10,000.00  per  year.   This  was  engineered,  in  part,  by 
Professor  Charles  Shaw  who  had  recommended  me  in  the  first 
place.   He  had  spent  a  month  of  his  summer  vacation  in 
reporting  on  a  project  in  Central  Mexico  and  consequently 
had  an  opportunity  to  confer  with  the  Commission  regarding 
my  work. 

Baum:       Were  you  paid  in  dollars? 
Packard:     No.   I  was  paid  in  gold  pesos  which  had  a  stable  value. 

Sometimes  I  would  be  paid  by  check  and  sometimes  in  fifty- 
peso  gold  coins,  which  was  quite  a  thrill.   Silver  pesos, 
however,  were  what  we  used  to  pay  bills.   On  trips  I  would 
have  to  carry  sacks  of  silver  pesos.   When  my  official 
appointment  was  made,  the  Department  of  Agronomy  of  the 
Commission  became  the  official  soil  survey  agency  of  the 
government.   A  laboratory  was  established  in  Mexico  City 
where  all  soil  analyses  were  made  thereafter. 
Baum:       What  kind  of  work  was  done  in  the  field? 
Packard:     Soil  surveys  were  made  with  the  use  of  plane  tables. 

Boundaries  of  different  soil  types  were  recorded  as  accurately 
as  possible.   A  new  method  was  used  in  studying  the  soil 
profiles.   Typical  soil  areas  would  be  selected  and  holes 
dug  to  a  depth  of  four  feet  or  more  as  conditions  dictated. 
The  holes  were  large  enough  to  permit  one  man  to  enter  and 


Packard:     study  the  soil  stratification  as  a  means  of  determining  its 
relative  suitability  for  irrigation.   Labor  was  cheap  and 
the  method  was  useful  because  it  avoided  guesswork.   The 
various  types  of  soil,  based  upon  these  rather  careful 
field  studies  would  be  classified,  given  a  name  and  mapped 
in  color,  following  the  techniques  employed  by  the  Soil 
Survey  Department  of  the  U.S.  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Where  possible  the  soil  maps  were  transferred  to 
topographical  maps  on  which  the  distribution  system  would 
be  laid  out  and  the  land  subdivided  into  farms  of  varying 
sizes  depending  upon  the  character  of  both  the  soil  and 
the  topography. 

Problems  of  Land  Holding 

Baum:       Was  your  department  in  charge  of  land  settlement  too? 

Packard:     No,  it  was  not.   But  your  question  raises  an  interesting 
issue.   The  Irrigation  Commission  was  responsible  for 
developing  much  needed  water  supplies.   Rainfall  in  Mexico 
is  seasonal.   Without  storage  the  runoff  during  the  rainy 
season  left  the  land  dry  during  the  dry  months.   Only  by 
storing  this  runoff  could  the  land  be  made  really  productive 
Under  irrigation  almost  anything  could  be  grown  and  in  some 
cases  two  or  three  crops  a  year  could  be  secured.   It  was 
my  responsibility  to  see  that  water  was  developed  for  the 
best  land  available. 

The  settlement  of  the  land  was  the  responsibility  of 


Packard:     those  in  charge  of  the  land  reform  program.   My  contact 
with  this  group,  unfortunately  for  me,  was  very  slight. 
One  reason  for  this  was  an  understandable  disinclination  on 
the  part  of  the  Mexican  agrarian  leaders  to  want  advice 
from  the  outside. 

The  land  problem  in  Mexico  had  its  roots  in  the  pre- 
Spanish  Aztec  days  when  Indian  villages  had  their  ejidos, 
or  common  lands,  capable  of  meeting  the  communal  needs 
of  the  people.   These  ejidos  were  recognized,  at  first, 
by  the  Spanish  conquerors.   But  as  time  went  on  the  village 
lands  or  ejidos  were  incorporated  into  large  estates  by 
various  means.   This  anti-social  action  reached  a  climax 
under  Porfirio  Diaz  whose  arbitrary  action  brought  on  the 
Madera  Revolution  of  1910,  a  portion  of  which  I  encountered 
when  we  lived  in  Imperial  Valley,  as  previously  recorded. 

The  first  land  reform  laws  were  passed  in  1915  and  later 
incorporated  in  the  famous  Article  27  of  the  Constitution 
of  1917,  which  provided  for  the  breaking  up  of  large  land 
holdings  to  be  distributed  to  individual  landless  families. 
This  alone  left  the  little  fellow  at  the  mercy  of  loan 
sharks  and  others  who  could  exploit  their  ignorance,  their 
lack  of  capital,  and  their  inability  to  act  collectively 
in  their  own  individual  interests.   Many  considered  the 
small  holdings  to  be  subsistence  homesteads  which  would 
relieve  the  hacienda  owner  from  a  traditional  responsibility 
for  their  welfare  while  still  providing  him  with  a  cheap 


Packard:     unorganized  labor  supply.   This  was  the  status  of  the  land 
reform  program  when  I  entered  Mexico.   But  a  great  forward 
step  was  made  in  1926  through  the  establishment  of  a  National 
Land  Bank,  in  a  position  to  give  credit  to  ejidos  in  nine 
states  to  start  with.   Agricultural  Credit  Societies,  subsidiary 
to  the  Bank,  were  established  throughout  the  country. 

Baum:       Were  you  involved  in  any  of  this  new  movement? 

Packard:     No.   I  was  interested  in  what  was  being  done  but  I  had 

no  responsibility  in  that  field.  Although  I  made  planned 
subdivisions  on  one  or  two  projects,  I  was  never  involved 
in  actual  settlement. 

The  problems  facing  the  Mexican  people  are  the  same 
as  the  problem  facing  people  everywhere.   The  population 
explosion  and  the  inadequacy  of  the  means  of  production 
exert  an  inexorable  influence.   When  I  went  to  Mexico  in 
1926  the  population  was  a  little  over  fifteen  million. 
It  is  now  about  forty  million  and  still  increasing.   The 
land  problem  itself  was  not  different  basically  from  the 
land  problem  faced  by  the  Resettlement  Administration  in 
the  United  States  or  the  land  problem  faced  by  Russia 
following  the  Revolution  of  1917.   The  question  is  this, 
"How  can  the  economies  and  efficiency  of  industrial  pro 
duction  be  attained  in  agriculture  without  losing  the  social 
values  associated,  traditionally,  with  the  family  farm?" 

Although  I  was  not  involved  in  the  settlement  program 
I  became  interested  in  housing  on  farms.   With  the  consent 


Packard:     of  the  Commission  I  employed  a  young  architect,  named 
Arturo  Albuto,  to  work  on  the  housing  problem.   He  was 
a  graduate  of  the  Architecture  School  in  Mexico  City  but 
was  the  son  of  a  peon  and  had  been  raised  under  the  primitive 
conditions  of  the  Mexican  rural  villages  and  consequently 
understood  village  life.   My  purpose  was  to  adapt  modern 
ideas  of  convenience,  sanitation,  and  the  like  but  using 
adobe  as  the  building  materials  and  using  thatched  roofs 
where  conditions  made  this  practical.   Some  of  these  designs 
are  included  in  the  material  being  submitted  with  this 
report . 

Baum:       They  look  like  very  simple  houses  to  me.   But  I  suppose 
they  were  quite  an  improvement  over  what  they  had. 

Packard:     Yes,  they  were  simple.   They  had  to  be  to  come  within  the 
financial  resources  of  these  very  low  income  people.   They 
did  represent  a  very  decided  improvement.   This  effort  was 
a  beginning  which  I  understand  had  an  effect  on  building 
programs  in  later  years. 

An  incident  will  illustrate  what  I  mean.   One  of  my 
assistants  and  I  had  to  spend  a  night  in  a  typical  adobe 
house  belonging  to  a  sheep  herder.   The  gas  in  our  car 
contained  water  and  we  had  to  leave  the  car  and  look  for 
some  place  to  stay.   We  were  picked  up  by  this  sheep  man 
who  was  riding  in  a  two-wheeled  cart  pulled  by  a  burro. 
He  invited  us  to  stay  overnight.   For  supper  we  had  goat's 
milk  and  corn  bread  cooked  in  an  iron  skillet  on  an  open 


Packard:     fire  in  one  corner  of  the  room.   We  slept  on  the  floor 

in  a  room  with  no  door,  and  I  had  to  rescue  my  leather  boots 
from  a  sow  and  her  pigs  who  wandered  in  during  the  night. 
After  a  breakfast  of  more  corn  meal  bread  and  goat's  milk, 
we  started  to  walk  to  camp  about  twenty  miles  away  when 
we  were  picked  up  by  some  friends  who  had  started  a  search 
for  us  when  we  failed  to  show  up  for  breakfast. 

Baum:       Then  you  were  responsible  for  the  physical  and  economic 
feasibility  of  the  irrigation  projects  only. 

Packard:     Yes.   I  had  no  official  connection  with  the  ejido  movement, 
j   This  does  not  mean  that  I  was  disinterested  in  the  problem. 
I  conferred  with  local  officials  of  the  agricultural  banks, 
particularly  in  the  Laguna  area  of  the  state  of  Coahuila-- 
a  rich  cotton  producing  area  where  a  special  effort  was 
made  to  make  the  ejido  system  work.   I  attended  a  meeting 
in  one  of  the  ejido  settlements,  where  plans  for  the 
coming  year  were  discussed.   I  was  impressed  by  the  difficulties 
presented  in  trying  to  implement  a  producer-type  cooperative. 

Baum:       Did  you  think  it  was  a  successful  system? 

Packard:     I  was  unable  to  make  any  satisfactory  judgement.   My 
friend,  Clarence  Senior,  whom  I  worked  with  in  Puerto 
Rico  some  years  later,  made  a  study  of  the  ejido  system 

and  published  his  findings  in  a  book  entitled  Land  Reform 

in  Democracy  in  which  he  extols  the  system.   His  analysis, 

however,  does  not  convince  me  that  the  ejido  system  provides 
a  final  answer  to  the  agrarian  problem. 


Packard:        I  came  in  contact  with  two  Mennonite  settlements,  one 

in  the  state  of  Chihuahua  and  the  other  in  northern  Durango. 
They  lived  in  adobe  houses  with  dirt  floors.   But  they 
were  often  in  two-story  houses  and  were  always  white-washed 
inside  and  kept  very  clean.   The  houses  were  located 
in  villages  on  the  European  plan.   The  farms  were  large 
enough  to  support  a  family  rather  well.   A  forty-acre  farm 
was  perhaps  the  average.   This  was  much  larger  than  an  ejido 
allotment.   The  Mennonites  used  tractors  and  had  threshing 
machines  and  the  like.  As  a  result  of  their  superior 
husbandry  their  yields  were  much  above  the  yields  on 
neighboring  Mexican  farms.   They  were  tolerated  by  the 
Mexican  Government  but  there  was  little  contact  between 
the  Mennonites  and  their  Mexican  neighbors,  at  least 
while  I  was  there. 

After  finishing  the  Don  Martin  project  survey  I  was 
assigned  to  various  other  projects.  Most  of  the  work 
however  consisted  of  reconnaisance  studies  of  general  areas 
where  the  Commission  thought  projects  might  be  established. 

Mexican  Co-Workers 

An  important  part  of  my  responsibility  was  to  train 
Mexican  technicians  to  carry  on  the  work  when  I  might 
leave.   The  "Departmento  de  Agronomo"  became  a  permanent 
institution  with  responsibility  for  all  soil  survey  work 
in  Mexico.   A  well-equipped  soils  laboratory  was  established 


Packard:     in  Mexico  City  as  headquarters  for  the  soils  department. 

There  was  a  very  good  feeling  among  the  members  of  the 
group.   I  amused  them  by  my  expression,  "All  right,  let's 
vamonos,"  as  I  did  many  years  later  in  Greece  by  constantly 
saying  "endoxie  pame"  (All  right,  let's  go.)   The  young 
men  who  joined  me  in  Guatimape'  stayed  with  me  during  the 
duration  of  my  stay  in  Mexico.   I  recall  Guillermo  Liera 
with  greatest  affection.   He  was  a  graduate  from  the  Agricul 
tural  College  in  Juarez  across  the  river  from  El  Paso  and 
could,  quite  understandably  speak  excellent  English.   I 
often  played  tennis  with  the  very  charming  Durango  girl 
who  later  became  his  wife.   I  was  also  honored  by  being 
the  godfather  of  their  children.   Liera  became  governor  of 

the  state  of  Sinaloa  and  later  became  Secretary  of  the 

Interior  in  Mexico  City. 

Antonio  Rodriguez  was  another  of  my  assistants  who 
became  a  close  friend.   He  had  been  educated  in  Texas  as 
an  engineer  but  chose  to  switch  to  soils  while  working  on 
the  GuatimapS  project. 

One  of  these  men,  Mr.  Salorzano,  was  the  husband  of 
President  Calles'  niece.   He  showed  up  one  morning  saying 
that  he  had  been  assigned  to  me.   I  sized  him  up  immediately 
as  a  man  who  probably  would  not  fit  into  the  organization 
at  all.   He  was  obviously  a  politician.   But  the  commission 
wanted  me  to  carry  on  with  him  in  any  case,  which  proved 

T! See  the  book  on  Sinaloa  and  the  letter  from  Liera  in 
1940,  in  the  Packard  Papers  in  the  Bancroft  Library. 


Packard:     to  be  a  little  difficult.   He  wouldn't  show  up  until  ten 

or  eleven  o'clock  in  the  morning,  if  at  all,  and  never  was 
able  to  do  anything  that  was  constructive. 

After  a  trip  to  the  Meoqui  project  where  we  were  to  hold 
a  summer  school  on  soil  surveying.   Prof.  Charles  Shaw  was 
to  come  down  from  the  University  of  California  to  conduct 
this  summer  school  and  all  of  the  employees  of  my  depart 
ment  were  to  be  there  for  special  training.   Salorzano 
was  among  them.  When  we  got  back,  and  his  expense  account 
came  across  my  desk  I  found  that  he  was  charging  fourteen 
pesos  for  a  room  I  knew  cost  him  two  pesos.   I  saw  other 
items  which  were  exaggerated  in  the  same  way.   So  I  said, 
"Well,  I  can't  approve  this  expense  account.   You're 
making  more  money  on  your  room  than  some  of  these  other 
boys  who  graduated  from  the  same  school  you  did  are  getting 
as  salary.   I  can't  approve  this."  He  was  obviously  vexed. 
He  grabbed  the  account  off  my  desk  very  irritably  and  said, 
"All  right,  I'll  change  it."  On  examining  the  new  account 
the  next  morning  I  found  the  room  rent  was  two  pesos.   But 
the  total  of  the  bill  was  exactly  the  same  as  it  was  the 
day  before.   So  I  said,  "It's  the  total  that's  got  to  be 
reduced  to  a  reasonable  amount  or  I  will  not  approve  it." 
This  time  he  was  not  just  vexed.   He  was  mad  and  said  he'd 
get  it  through  the  Controller  anyway.   He  didn't  have  to 
have  my  approval.  (  Laughter  )   And  so  he  sailed  out  of 
the  office  and  I  called  the  head  of  the  Commission,  Mr.  Sanchez 


Packard:    Mejorada,  and  told  him  what  had  happened.   He  said  that 

that  was  precisely  why  the  Commission  sent  Salorzano  to  me. 
They  knew  he  would  pad  expense  accounts  and  thought  that 
I  would  catch  it.   I  was  told  that  the  Commission  would 
back  me  up  and  the  bill  would  not  be  paid. 

But  three  days  later  I  went  on  another  assignment  to 
the  Yaqui  Valley  in  the  state  of  Sonora.   I  was  there  for 
about  a  month  when  I  saw  in  the  paper  that  the  commission 
had  been  discharged  by  the  new  president,  President  Portes, 
and  that  a  new  commission  had  been  appointed.   So  I  thought, 
now  is  the  time  for  me  to  get  back  to  Mexico  City,  which 
I  did.   On  entering  the  office  of  the  new  commission  I 
encountered  my  old  friend  Salorzano  sitting  in  the  seat 
of  power.  He  was  the  executive  secretary  of  the  new  board. 
So,  without  any  discussion  at  all  I  said,  "Well,  Mr. 
Salorzano,  how  much  time  will  you  give  me?"  And  he  said, 
"Can  you  finish  things  up  in  a  month,  Mr.  Packard?"  And 
I  said,  "Yes,  I  can."  So  that  was  the  end  of  my  job  in 
Mexico.  (  Laughter  ) 

Personal  Experiences,  Violence  and  Anti -Government  Forces 

Baum:       Well,  what  was  Mrs.  Packard  doing  when  you  were  in  Mexico? 

Packard:     She  remained  in  California  for  a  little  more  than  a  year 
and  then  joined  me.   This  simple  statement,  though  ,  does 
not  present  the  full  facts.   When  I  left  for  Mexico,  Clara 
was  in  her  senior  year  in  high  school  in  Palo  Alto  and 


Packard:     Emmy  Lou  was  not  at  all  well.   My  appointment  was  on  a 
temporary  basis  at  first  and  Mexico  was  still  in  a  rev 
olutionary  period.   In  view  of  all  of  these  factors  it  seemed 
wise  to  have  Emma  and  the  two  girls  remain  in  Palo  Alto,  at 
least  until  Clara  finished  high  school. 

My  mother  died  in  the  summer  of  1927  and  I  returned 
to  Pasadena  for  the  funeral  and  to  be  with  my  bereaved 
father  for  as  long  a  time  as  I  could  spare.   I  took  advan 
tage  of  the  leave  to  return  to  Palo  Alto  with  Emma  to 
decide  what  to  do  about  Emmy  Lou's  illness  which  had  been 
diagnosed  by  Dr.  Russell  Lee  of  Palo  Alto  as  diabetes. 
On  the  doctor's  advice  I  took  Emmy  Lou  to  the  Sansum  Clinic 
in  Santa  Barbara  where  she  remained  for  two  months.   She 
was  one  of  several  young  persons  to  be  put  on  insulin. 
Both  she  and  Emma  became  thoroughly  familiar  with  all  aspects 
of  her  case  and  with  the  use  of  insulin  so  it  was  possible 
for  her  to  make  the  trip  to  Mexico  City  when  the  time  came. 

But  this  took  time  and  we  decided  to  have  Clara  join 
me  on  the  Meoqui  project  following  her  graduation.   I  met 
Clara  at  El  Paso  and  took  her  to  Meoqui  where  we  settled 
in  an  adobe  house  with  dirt  floors  and  a  big  luscious  fig 
tree  in  the  patio.  When  my  work  was  finished  we  went  to 
Mexico  City  taking  rooms  in  the  Hotel  Geneve. 

Baum:       When  did  Mrs.  Packard  and  Emmy  Lou  join  you  two? 

Packard:     It  was  some  months  later  and  therein  lies  a  story  which 
Emma  can  tell  better  than  I. 


September  24,  1926 


Walter  E.  Packard,  Chief 

of  Irrigation  Projects 

Tells  of   Work 



Says  President   Calles   Is 

Honest,  Capable  and 

Far  Seeing 

Walter  E.  Packard,  chief  of  the 
division  of  agriculture  of  the  Na 
tional  Irrigation  Commission  of 
Mexico,  called  to  Pasadena  from 
his  work  in  the  southern  republic 
by  the  death  of  his  mother,  Mrs. 
Clara  A.  Packard,  finds  that  Mex 
ico,  rich  in  resources  but  com 
paratively  poor  in  ready  funds,  nas 
a  bright  future  under  the  fairest 
and  most  intelligent  president  it 
has  ever  had.  Far  from  being 
"bolshevistic,"  the  government  of 
Mexico  is  proceeding  to  develop 
the  country  on  a  sound  economic 
basis  for  the  good  of  the  people  of 
the  republic,  he  says. 

Mr.  Packard,  chosen  among  ag 
riculturists  of  the  United  States  to 
lead  in  the  development  of  the  vast 
resources  in  land  and  water  of  the 
republic  of  Mexico,  has  just  got 
well  started  towards  a  survey  of 
numerous  irrigation  and  farming 
projects  throughout  most  of  the 
states  of  Mexico,  those  in  the  arid 
or  semi-arid  regions  about  and 
north  of  the  City  of  Mexico,  we 
left  his  work  in  the  state  of  Du- 
rango  to  come  to  Pasadena,  and 
will  go  back  immediately  to  take 
up  the  important  work  again.  Mr.  • 
Packard's  friends  state  that  no  one 
is  better  qualified  to  serve  the 
Mexican  government  in  this  vital 
work  than  he,  his  background  be 
ing  over  ten  years  in  invest»ga- 
tional  and  experimental  work  in 
California,  two  years  as  traveling 
instructor  for  the  University  of 
California,  College  of  Agriculture, 
,uid  two  years  study  of  agricultural 
economics  at  Harvard  University,. 
besides  being  chief  aid  to  F.hvood 
Mead,  national  director  of  reclamfc- 
tioii,  for  two  vears. 

Pleased  With  Work 

"Jefe  el  Departmcnte  Keonomico 
Nationale  Comision  de  Irrigacion" 
is  the  title  on  the  main  entrance 
of  Mr.  Packard's  office  suite  in 
Mexico  City.  His  work  is  said  to 
have  greatly  pleased  President 
Calles,  and  it  is  believed  that  he 
will  be  kept  in  Mexico  for  several 
years  to  see  that  the  projects  he 
recommends  are  properly  carried 
out.  While  in  California  he  will 
secure  a  competent  engineer  to 
take  charge  of  the  soil  surveys  in 
the  irrigation  projects  he  is  now 
working  on. 

Contrary  to  expectations,  the 
climate  in  Mexico  is  delightful  at 
this  time  of  the  year,  being  similar 
to  the  California  spring,  ^fr.  Pack 
ard  says.  'He  has  experienced 
more  warm  days  during  the  past 
week  in  Pasadena  than  he  has  felt 
during  his  three  months'  stay  in 
Mexico.  The  chief  drawback  to  life 
in  Mexico  is  the  poor  food  and 
poorer  roads  in  the  country  dis 
tricts.  These  he  must  endure  in 
helping  to  build  up  the  agricul 
tural  industry  of  the  republic.  Fri- 
joles  and  tortillas  three  times  a  day 
is  his  fare  if  he  can  get  them,  and 
the  roads  are  frightful. 

Huge  Sum  Available 
Some  time  ago,  the  Mexican 
government  organized  the  National 
Commission  of  Irrigation,  which  is 
similar  to  the  American  Reclama 
tion  Service,  and  a  revolving  fund 
of  60,000,000  pesos  was  voted  to 
grease  the  wheels  which  were  to 
liquidate  for  the  benefit  of  settlers 
the  great  latent  agricultural  and 
water  resources  of  the  republic. 
Mr.  Packard  was  secured  as  chief 
of  the  division  of  agriculture  in 
this  commission,  and  J.  D.  White, 
noted  New  York  engineer,  was 
•  hired  to  take  charge  of  the  con 
struction  of  dams  and  waterways. 
The  first  work  to  be  done  was  to 
survey  the  projects,  find  out  what 
the  systems  would  cost,  and  report 
to  the  commission.  This  work  is 
being  done  by  Mr.  Packard  with  a 
large  force  of  American  and  Mexi 
can  engineers. 

Some  very  high  and  costly  dam? 
have  already  been  authorized  and 
will  be  constructed  under  the  new 
system.  One  project  in  Michoacan 
has  already  been  passed  by  the 
commission,  and  the  report  on  the 
Durango  projects  will  be  ready 

Under  Feudal  System 
Mexico  is  just  now  emerging 
from  a  feudal  system  similar  to  that 
in  vogue  in  Europe  some  years 
ago.  The  large  landed  estates  or 
haciendas  were  and  are  held  by  fam 
ilies  who  leased  small  farms  aver 
aging  about  seven  hectares  to  in 
dividual  Mexicans.  These  farmers 
raised  just  about  enough  to  keep 
body  and  soul  together.  They  had 
no  surplus  to  trade  for  clothing, 
books,  dairy  products,  implements 
or  house  furnishings. 

Under  President  Calles'  new  sys 
tem,  these  huge  haciendas  are  to  be 
subdivided  into  ranches  of  forty 
hectares,  or  about  ninety  acres, 
and  leased  or  sold  to  the  people  on 
easy  terms.  With  larger  ranches, 
the  Mexican  farmer  can  raise  a 
surplus  which  can  be  sold,  thus  se 
curing  funds  for  necessities  and 
so'me  luxuries,  and  bettering  the 
economic  condition  of  the  country. 

Are   Co-operating 
In    almost    every    case    the    own- 


22  bh 


(Continued   from   Pngc   Stvtnittm) 

ers  of  these  large  estates  are  co 
operating  with  the  government  in 
splitting  up  of  the  huge  haciendas 
for  sale  to  the  people.  In  some 
cases  the  government  buys  out  the 
owners,  paying  cash;  in  others  the 
government  puts  up  half  the 
money,  and  in  f  few  the  hacienda 
owners  furnish!  all  the  capital  to 
develop  the  water  system  and 
place  the  farms  on  sale. 

"\Vater  is  a  national  asset  in 
Mexico,  and  should  be  here,"  says 
Mr.  Packard.  "We  go  to  the  own 
ers  of  haciendas  where  there  is  a 
water  supply,  and  first  try  and  in 
duce  him  to  subdivide  his  land, 
and  construct  and  finance  the  ir 
rigation  projects.  We  impress  upon 
him  the  necessity  of  conserving 
the  water  for  irrigation  as  a  na 
tional  resource.  This  is  the  begin 
ning  of  an  attempt  to  work  out  the 
agrarian  problems  of  Mexico. 

"Most  of  the  crops  of  Northern 
Mexico,  chiefly  Mexican  June  corn, 
red  beans  or  'frijoles,'  chiles  and 
potatoes,  are  raised  without  irriga 
tion.  The  rainfall  is  sufficient  for 
the  full  development  of  these 
crops  about  three  years  in  five.  In 
the  other  two  years  the  farmer 
loses  his  crops,  and  privation  is  the 
result.  We  are  trying  to  make 
farming  a  safe  economic  project 
with  the  aid  of  these  irrigation 
projects.  These  water  projects  will 
be  established  under  the  farm  ad 
viser  system,  and  livestock  will  be 
introduced  to  supplement  field  and 
orchard  crops.  A  great  national 
system  of  highways  is  also  being 

Americans   Safe 

"The  feeling  is  very  friendly  to 
wards  Americans  in  Mexico  now, 
and  I  am  as  safe  in  the  interior  of 
the  country  now  as  I  am  in  Pasa- : 

Heads  Important 
Work  in  Mexico 


Agricultural  Expert  Here   Tells 

What   Republic   Is   Doing 

dcna.  The  malcontents  are  being 
disarmed  as  are  all  tlie  people  ex 
cept  government  officials.  Mexico 
is  very  well  policed,  and  President 
Calles  is  a  sincere,  honest  and 
capable  official. 

"As  regards  construction  of 
Boulder  Dam,  my  belief  is  that  the 
Mexican  government  will  request 
some  sort  of  treaty  setting  forth  the 
exact  amount  of  water  which  will 
accrue  to  Mexican  lands  before  this 
great  project  Is  commenced.  This 
amount  of  water,  probably,  will  be 
based  on  that  used  at  the  time  of 
treaty  for  Mexican  lands  south  of 
the  Imperial  Valley  in  Lower  Cali 


Mrs.    :        Walter  had  arranged  for  me  to  meet  him  in  Mexico  City 

in  the  fall  of  1927.   He  assured  me  that  everything  was 

safe  in  spite  of  occasional  train  derailments  and  the  like. 
So  Emmy  Lou  and  I  went  to  Pasadena  for  a  few  days  visit 
before  leaving  for  Mexico.   But  when  I  emerged  from  the 
ticket  office  where  I  had  just  purchased  the  two  tickets, 
a  special  extra  paper  was  on  the  stand,  carrying  the  news 
that  a  bridge  had  been  blown  up  on  the  line  I  was  to  take 
and  that  travel  was  unsafe.  (  Laughter  )   I  cancelled  the 
tickets  and  went  back  to  Father  Packard's  house  to  await 
developments.   In  answer  to  my  urgent  telegram,  Walter 
again  assured  me  that  I  would  be  safe,  especially  if  I 
took  the  shorter  line  from  Laredo  to  Mexico  City,  in  part, 
because  no  trouble  had  occurred  on  that  line. 

But  as  luck  would  have  it,  I  picked  a  train  that  was 
blown  up.   I  can  tell  the  story  best  by  reading  from  a 
letter  I  sent  to  my  mother  at  the  time. 

October  25,  19%7 

Dear  Mother: 

We  have  been  in  Mexico  City  a  week  today  and  have 
only  been  held  up  once  and  that  was  on  the  way  down. 
We  left  Laredo  about  11  p.m.  last  Monday,  expecting 
to  be  in  Mexico  City  at  8  p.m.  Tuesday.   I  woke  about 
sun-up  Tuesday  and  looked  out  to  see  a  wild  country  much 
like  Arizona  or  Texas  though  with  more  vegetation- 
huge  cactus  and  mesquite  trees  with  mountains  or  foot 
hills  in  the  background.   I  decided  to  get  up  and  dress 
about  7  o'clock.   Everyone  else  on  the  train  seemed 
to  be  asleep.   I  had  just  about  finished  dressing  and 
was  nearly  ready  to  go  back  to  the  berth  when  "Bang" 
went  a  fairly  heavy  explosion  followed  by  the  crack 
of  rifle  shots.   I  had  just  been  mentally  congratulating 
myself  that  now  it  was  daylight  we  would  likely  not 
be  held  up.   But  I  immediately  recognized  the  rifle 


Mrs.    :        fire  and  the  smell  of  burned  powder  and  knew  we  were 
Packard         in  for  something.   I  wasn't  frightened  for  some  reason 
but  thought  of  Emmy  Lou  and  crawled  on  my  hands  and 
knees  to  the  berth.   I  pulled  her  onto  the  floor.   She 
was  laughing,  and  skeptical  that  it  was  a  holdup.   But 
then  the  other  passengers  began  to  appear  in  their 
pajamas.   It  was  funny  to  see  them  lying  along 
the  aisle.   However,  the  firing  stopped  and  the  conductor 
came  into  the  car  and  told  us  to  get  dressed  and  to 
keep  away  from  the  windows  and  that  we  were  safe ,  they 
might  go  through  the  car  and  take  our  money  but  would 
not  hurt  us.   Some  of  the  men  passengers  were  simply 
quaking  from  fright  or  nervousness,  especially  two 
government  officials.   The  porter  came  through  and  gave 
everyone  a  stiff  glass  of  cognac.   I  peeped  out  the 
crack  in  the  curtain  and  right  below  my  window  were  three 
of  the  revolutionaries,  or  bandits- -whatever  they  were. 
They  were  exactly  like  a  Hollywood  movie  outf it--bright 
serapes  and  mounted  on  mustangs.   All  carried  rifles. 
Of  course  the  train  had  stopped  at  the  first  bang  and 
there  we  stood  a  good  four  hour   ride  from  the  nearest 

A  strapping  American  engineer  came  in  from  the 
coach  ahead  and  said  he  had  had  a  close  call,  as  he 
was  in  front  of  the  car  next  to  where  the  blast  struck. 
They  had  put  a  charge  of  dynamite  on  the  tracks  to 
blow  up  the  engine  or  the  baggage  car  to  get  a  big 
shipment  of  gold  they  thought  was  being  shipped  from 
Monterey  to  the  Bank  of  Mexico  in  Mexico  City.   The 
blast  hit  the  second  class  coach  instead.  Mr.  Scott, 
the  engineer,  was  working  with  a  telephone  company  and 
said  as  soon  as  it  was  safe  to  venture  outside  he  would 
tap  the  wires  that  were  near  the  track  and  call  for 

In  the  meantime  we  watched  the  bandits,  of  whom 
we  counted  about  forty  or  fifty,  take  the  strong  boxes 
out  of  the  express  car  and  drag  them  about  a  hundred 
yards  away  and  blow  them  up.   They  then  crowded  about 
and  took  whatever  there  was.   In  about  half  an  hour  they 
were  all  through  and  rode  away  through  the  brush. 
Everyone  in  the  car  was  jabbering  in  English  and  Spanish. 
The  conductor  came  in  and  gave  us  a  speech  in  Spanish-- 
which  was  not  translated  to  me.   But  I  found  that  it 
was  a  polite  assurance  from  the  bandits  that  they  had 
no  intention  of  bothering  the  passengers.   All  they 
were  interested  in  was  the  big  loot. 

Mr.  Scott  came  in  soon  after  the  bandits  left  and 
asked  if  any  of  the  American  women  could  do  first  aid. 


Mrs.    :        Up  to  that  time  I  had  no  idea  that  anyone  was  hurt. 

Packard         We  went  three  cars  ahead  and  I  never  hope  to  see  a  worse 
sight.   The  peons'  car  was  simply  in  shambles.   The 
blast  had  torn  out  most  of  the  floor  in  the  middle  of 
the  car  and  six  or  eight  desperately  wounded  were  lying 
around  groaning.   They  had  already  moved  some  of  the 
lesser  wounded  to  the  other  coach.   The  men  found  a 
first  aid  kit  in  the  Pullman  car  and  as  there  was  not 
a  single  doctor  or  nurse  aboard  we  simply  had  to  do 
the  best  we  could.   I  was  the  only  one  who  knew  how  to 
give  a  hypodermic,  thanks  to  my  insulin  training,  so 
I  went  at  that  while  the  men  put    tourniquets  on  terribly 
wounded  legs.   We  could  find  only  five  shots  of  morphine, 
which  was  not  nearly  enough.   I  gave  them  to  the  ones 
who  seemed  the  worst — and  it  was  hard  to  say  who  needed 
it  the  most.   One  poor  chap  who  had  lost  a  foot  had 
to  go  without  morphine  so  I  ransacked  my  own  kit  and 
found  enough  sleeping  tablets  to  put  him  under.   Later 
we  found  a  woman  in  the  other  car  who  needed  relief 
badly,  but  all  I  could  find  for  her  was  the  last  of 
a  little  cough  medicine,  containing  codeine,  but  it 
was  not  enough  to  do  her  any  good.   I  had  to  laugh, 
almost,  when  I  found  myself  about  to  pour  some  Williams 
shaving  lotion  down  her  throat,  which  was  in  a  bottle 
similar  to  the  one  containing  the  cough  medicine.   We 
put  splints  on  ever  so  many  broken  legs  and  then  went 
around  with  hot  water,  cotton  and  iodine,  and  sterilized 
and  dressed  as  many  of  the  cuts  as  we  could.   After 
an  hour  and  a  half,  we  had  done  as  much  as  we  could,  so 
escaped  to  the  diner  to  get  some  coffee,  as  it  was 
nine-thirty  and  we  had  had  no  breakfast. 

The  relief  train  did  not  come  for  four  hours.   Finally 
the  Mexican  Red  Cross  took  the  wounded  to  San  Luis  Potosi 
and  we  finally  went  on  our  way  after  seven  hours  delay. 

Emmy  Lou  did  not  see  any  of  the  bad  part  so  she 
thought  it  was  quite  a  lark  and  thought  that  we  had 
something  more  in  the  way  of  experience  than  Walter  or 
Clara,  who  have  not  been  held  up  once.   She  had  a  lot 
of  fun  counting  bandits  through  the  crack  in  the  curtain. 
She  has  been  drawing  them  ever  since. 

I  forgot  to  say  we  had  an  armed  car  attached  to  the 
train  but  the  soldiers  were  outnumbered  three  to  one 
and  ran  from  the  train  to  hide  in  the  brush  until  the 
bandits  left  which  was  the  best  thing  for  us  because 
there  was  no  more  shooting. 

Packard:        About  a  month  later  Clara  and  I  were  in  a  day  coach 
attached  to  a  freight  train  with  an  armored  car  full  of 


Packard:    soldiers  forming  the  caboose.   The  train  slowed  down  at  an 
isolated  spot  and  the  soldiers  began  firing  at  horsemen 
riding  around  the  train.   They  had  put  some  ties  in  the 
track  to  stop  the  train  at  a  point  which  seemed  favorable 
for  a  holdup.   We  and  the  others  in  the  car  dropped  to 
the  floor,  built  up  barricades  with  our  suitcases,  and  waited 
for  the  shooting  to  stop.   I  was,  of  course,  frightened 
because  I  had  heard  enough  stories  of  violence  to  be  cautious. 
But  Clara  was  excited  and  called  to  me  saying,  "Now  Emmy 
Lou  can't  say  she  is  the  only  one  that  has  been  held  up." 
In  our  case  the  soldiers  got  out  of  the  car  and  formed  a 
skirmish  line  lying  down  flat  between  occasional  advances. 
Finally  the  bandits  went  down  into  a  ravine  out  of  range 
and  we  proceeded  on  our  way  after  the  conductor  and  the 
brakeman  removed  the  ties  from  the  track. 

Baum:       Were  these  just  bandits? 

Packard:    They  may  have  been  in  this  case  but  most  of  the  trouble  of 

this  kind  was  the  work  of  the  Christeros--armed  groups  fighting 
for  the  Church.   Their  objective  was  to  embarrass  the  gov 
ernment  . 

There  was  no  question  about  the  identity  of  the  attackers 
on  another  occasion  when  I  was  on  the  main  train  on  the 
El  Paso-Mexico  City  line.  My  train,  carrying  two  armored 
cars,  was  preceded  by  an  engine  and  caboose  to  serve  as 
a  pilot  in  case  the  track  had  been  tampered  with.   In  this 
case,  the  outside  rails  on  a  sharp  turn  had  been  loosened 


Packard:     by  drawing  out  the  spikes.   When  the  pilot  engine  hit  the 
curve  it  ran  off  the  track  and  turned  over  on  its  side. 
Our  train  stopped  and  switched  one  of  the  armored  cars  off 
the  train  and  carried  the  soldiers  down  where  they  could 
fight.   As  I  gathered  the  facts,  about  150  Christeros  had 
attacked  the  small  group  on  the  pilot  engine  and  caboose. 
They  were  carrying  banners  reading,  "Vive  Cristo  rey,"  the 
usual  Christero  slogan.   Just  what  happened  I  do  not  know, 
except  that  when  our  train  was  pulled  up  and  we  had  to  walk 
around  the  wreck,  the  soldiers  were  carrying  dead  Christeros 
from  the  brush-covered  hill  and  burying  them  in  a  trench 
dug  along  the  right  of  way.   The  engineer  and  fireman  had 
been  badly  burned  by  escaping  steam  and  were  carried  to 
Aguascalientes  in  our  car. 

Baum:       Was  it  common  for  track  to  be  taken  up? 

Packard:    Yes,  it  was.   It  was  because  of  this  that  the  device  of  the 
pilot  train  of  engine  and  caboose  was  adopted.   That  the 
trouble  encountered  was  instigated  by  the  Church  was  well 
authenticated  by  the  Church  itself. 

One  time  our  criada  in  Mexico  City  brought  us  a  little 
pamphlet  published  by  the  Church  and  circulated  surreptitiously 
by  the  people.   It  listed  the  things  that  the  Church  had 
done  during  the  past  month--the  haciendas  they'd  burned, 
the  trains  they'd  destroyed,  and  the  bridges  blown  up. 

The  fight  between  the  Church  and  the  government  started 
shortly  after  I  arrived.   The  Calles  regime  had  confiscated 


Packard : 


large  Church-owned  properties  as  part  of  the  revolutionary 
land  reform  program.   I  was  in  the  city  of  Chihuahua  on  the 
Sunday  on  which  the  churches  were  closed.   I  was  awakened 
by  the  unusual  silence.   I  had  become  accustomed  to  the  din 
of  church  bells  in  the  morning.   I  got  dressed  and  walked 
over  to  the  main  cathedral  about  two  blocks  frtfn  the  hotel 
where  I  found  soldiers  guarding  the  church  entrance  and 
groups  of  people  standing  around  wondering  what  to  do. 
Although  violence  was  anticipated  there  was  none,  at  least 
where  I  was.   The  Church  fight  continued  as  long  as  I  was 
in  Mexico.   Every  train  I  traveled  on  had  one  or  two  armored 
cars  attached. 

The  attitude  of  the  conservative  supporters  of  the  Church 
was  revealed  to  me  one  evening  during  the  Hoover-Al  Smith 
Presidential  campaign.   Mr.  Gomez  Palacio,  a  Cornell-trained 
engineer  whom  I  got  to  know  intimately,  expressed  his  opinion 
that  if  Al  Smith  should  win,  the  fight  against  the  Church 
in  Mexico  would  be  stopped.   During  the  conversation  he 
said  that  he  contributed  regularly  to  the  Church's  attacks 
on  trains,  etc.   The  motive,  he  said,  was  to  embarrass  the 
government.   When  I  told  him  that  all  of  the  Americans  I 
had  talked  to  were  mad  at  the  Church  rather  than  the 
government  when  a  hacienda  was  burned  or  a  train  derailed, 
he  was  nonplussed  but  unconvinced. 

Was  all  of  this  trouble  a  part  of  the  Church  fight?  What 
about  the  bandit  stories  we  hear  about? 


Packard:    Of  course,  not  all  of  the  troubles  involved  the  Church.   There 
was  one  case  in  Durango,  for  example,  where  a  bandit  named 
Galindo  almost  dominated  the  area  around  Guatimape".   Nobody 
ever  dared  go  out  very  far  alone  because  they  were  afraid 
of  being  caught  by  Galindo  and  held  for  ransom.   He  con 
sidered  himself  to  be  a  kind  of  Robin  Hood.   He  called 
himself  General  Galindo.   One  time  when  the  engineers  were 
examining  a  possible  dam  site  not  far  from  Guatimape"  in 
came  a  cavalcade  of  horses  and  the  men,with  Galindo  at  the 
head.   The  group  rode  into  camp.   Galindo  dismounted  and, 
on  seeing  the  wife  of  one  of  the  engineers  standing  by  the 
entrance  to  her  tent,  advanced  and  introduced  himself. 
He  said  he  wanted  the  Chinese  cook  to  prepare  a  meal  for 
all  his  men.   They  were  hungry  and  wanted  something  to  eat. 
When  Mr.  Hardy,  the  project  manager  appeared,  he  complied 
with  Galindo 's  demand.   But  to  be  on  the  safe  side,  Galindo 
had  the  Chinese  cook  sample  everything  before  he  would 
let  his  men  eat  or  drink. 

While  waiting  for  the  meal  to  be  prepared  Galindo 
visited  with  Mrs.  Cosset,  whose  small  daughter  was  with 
her.   He  took  the  girl's  cup  and  tied  it  on  his  saddle  and 
gave  her  his  cup  in  exchange,  saying  that  she  should 
remember  this  as  a  gift  from  General  Galindo.   Mrs.  Cosset 
then  said  that  she  would  like  a  memento,  too.   So  Galindo 
pulled  one  of  his  pistols  out  of  its  holster  and  gave  her 
a  bullet  saying  that  she  was  the  only  person  who  had  ever 


Packard:     received  a  bullet  from  Galindo's  gun  and  still  lived. 
(  Laughter  ) 

After  lunch  he  made  a  talk  to  his  men  telling  them  that 
what  the  Americans  were  doing  was  good  for  his  country  and  that 
nothing  should  be  done  to  interfere  with  the  work.   Following 
this  talk  he  had  a  conference  with  Mr.  Hardy,  demanding 
15,000  pesos  as  protection  money.   I  never  knew  whether  or 
not  this  protection  money  was  ever  paid,  but  I  presume  it 
was . 

Baum:       Was  this  the  old  protection  shakedown? 

Packard:    Yes,  it  was.   But  it  had  a  romantic  Mexican  touch  not  associated 
with  gangland  in  the  states. 

Baum:  How  did    it   all   end,    or  don't   you  know? 

Packard:     The  government  decided  to  put  a  stop  to  it.   One  technique 

was  to  have  some  one  of  Galindo's  family  on  every  train  going 
in  or  out  of  Durango.   Mrs.  Galindo  usually  was  carried 
on  the  Guatimape1  run  which  penetrated  Galindo  territory. 
Finally  things  got  so  hot  that  Galindo  agreed  to  surrender 
at  an  hacienda  near  Guatimap£  that  was  owned  by  a  graduate 
from  the  College  of  Agriculture  of  the  University  of  Cal 
ifornia.   But  Galindo  sensed  a  plot  and  in  place  of  surrender 
ing,  he  left  Mexico.   The  last  I  heard  of  him  was  a  rumor 
that  he  was  working  as  a  laborer  on  the  Southern  Pacific 
tracks  in  California. 

Near  the  end  of  Galindo's  career  a  group  of  soldiers 
known  as  the  Black  Battalion  came  into  Guatimap£  hacienda, 


Packard:    carrying  a  black  flag.   The  leader  boasted  that  he  was  out 

to  get  Galindo.   He  did  his  best  but  he,  rather  than  Galindo, 
met  his  death.   His  body  was  found  in  a  ravine  some  days 

Perhaps  these  stories  are  not  significant  enough  to  be 
included  in  this  account. 

Baum:       Oh,  yes  they  are.   They  illustrate  a  phase  of  the  Mexican 
problem  which  should  be  understood. 

Packard:    Well,  in  that  case  there  are  two  or  three  other  incidents 
which  I  might  tell  about. 

One  time  when  I  was  returning  from  Guatimape"  to  Durango 
by  car  at  night  we  saw  the  central  part  of  town  all  lighted 
up.   It  was  midnight  when  the  town  was  usually  dark.  When 
we  reached  the  hotel  we  found  all  of  our  friends  in  the  lobby 
talking  about  an  attack  that  was  expected  at  almost  any 
time.  A  large  Christero  force  was  advancing  toward  the 
town  from  the  south.   A  cavalry  unit  had  been  sent  out  to 
stop  them,  but  no  word  had  been  received  from  them.   Anxiety 
ended  when  the  government  force  returned  with  the  body  of 
the  Indian  leader  with  a  bullet  hole  in  his  forehead.   His 
body  was  placed  on  exhibition  in  the  center  of  the  town 

There  was  plenty  of  precedent  for  this  sort  of  thing. 
I  have  a  vivid  recollection  of  the  postcard  pictures  of 
Pancho  Villa's  bullet-ridden  body  when  he  was  ambushed  coming 
into  Durango  from  the  hacienda  where  he  was  living. 


Baum:       This  didn't  occur  while  you  were  there,  did  it? 

Packard:     Oh  no.   Villa  was  killed  some  years  before  that. 

During  part  of  the  time  I  was  in  Durango  the  government 
forces  were  commanded  by  a  general  whom  I  consider  to  be 
a  rather  despicable  character.   His  headquarters  were  in 
the  hotel  where  I  stayed  part  of  the  time.   He  had  two 
police  dogs  to  protect  him  from  surprise  attack.   He  often 
sat  at  the  dining  room  table  with  his  chair  reversed  straddling 
the  chair  as  he  would  a  horse.   He  was  feared  by  everyone 
because  he  had  despotic  powers.   I  do  not  know  how  many 
people  were  shot  while  I  was  there,  but  rumor  set  the 
figure  rather  high.   One  story  concerned  a  peon  who  had 
been  brought  in  by  the  soldiers  charged  with  holding  up 
a  railway  station.   The  general  was  reported  to  have  said, 
"Shoot  him  tonight,  I'll  hear  the  evidence  in  the  morning." 

This  was  no  stranger  than  the  incident  reported  in 
one  of  the  Mexico  City  newspapers  during  an  attempted  rev 
olution  in  the  state  of  Vera  Cruz.   The  headline  reported 
the  President  as  ordering  that  a  captured  general  should 
receive  a  fair  trial  and  that  his  body  should  then  be  shipped 
to  Mexico  City  for  burial.  (  Laughter  ) 

A  psychological  type  of  torture  was  illustrated  by 
the  way  the  major  domo  on  a  ranch,  once  a  part  of  the 
Guatimapg  Hacienda  owned  by  Dr.  Gray,  was  treated. 
He  was  arrested  at  the  order  of  the  general  because  he  was 
an  ardent  Catholic  and  was  supposed  to  be  backing  the  Church 


Packard:     in  the  current  fight  with  the  government.   He  was  held  in 
jail  for  several  weeks  and  was  told  at  intervals  that  he 
was  to  be  shot  that  night.   Finally  he  was  taken  out  at 
night  to  the  adobe  wall  where  the  executions  took  place, 
lined  up  against  the  wall,  and  then  told  to  go  home  which 
he  did  without  argument. 

While  I  was  in  Guatimape1  one  of  the  railroad  bridges 
was  blown  up  by  the  Christeros.  A  peon  suspected  of  having 
a  part  in  the  dynamiting  was  caught  and  hung  on  a  telephone 
pole  which  I  had  to  pass  when  I  went  back  and  forth.   The 
hanging  body  was  supposed  to  be  a  warning.   It  was  still 
there  when  I  left. 

Baum:       It  doesn't  sound  like  an  entirely  safe  place  to  work. 
Packard:    I  was,  of  course,  always  in  danger  of  being  captured  and 
held  for  ransom.   But  there  was  nothing  else  to  do.   I 
was  there  and  I  seldom  felt  any  fear  myself.   I  didn't 
think  that  anything  would  happen  to  me.   But  I  did  come 
pretty  close  to  danger  at  different  times.   One  time  in 
a  state  in  central  Mexico,  I  was  making  a  reconnaissance 
survey  of  quite  an  area.   I  was  in  a  car  and  was  driving 
on  byroads  and  sometimes  just  paths  going  through  the 
brush.   I  knew  that  in  that  general  territory  there  was  a 
threat  of  a  battle  between  the  Christeros  and  the  government 
forces.   I  was  warned  not  to  go,  but  again,  I  didn't  think 
there  was  any  danger.   But  when  I  was  going  down  a  narrow 
road  lined  by  maguey  plants  on  both  sides  I  was  suddenly 


Packard:     faced  by  a  group  of  about  twenty  armed  men  all  on  horseback 
with  cartridge  belts  across  their  chests,  in  good  Mexican 
style.   I  had  about  ten  rifles  pointed  at  me  and  1  was 
ordered  to  stop.   And  I  stopped.  (  Laughter  )   I  found  that 
they  were  agaristas  who  were  friendly  to  the  government. 
They  thought  I  was  a  spy  and  that  I  was  a  very  suspicious 
character.   They  intended  to  arrest  me.   But  the  Mexican 
engineers  who  were  with  me  convinced  them  that  it  was  all 
right,  that  we  were  working  for  the  government.  We  had 
government  papers  to  prove  it.   And  so  they  rather  reluctantly 
let  us  go. 

Another  time  when  I  was  traveling  with  the  head  of  the 
commission,  Mr.  Sanchez  Mejorada,  when  we  were  stopped  by 
a  mob  in  a  village.   They  carried  stones,  muzzle -load ing 
guns,  and  knives  and  were  very  belligerent.   I  never 
knew  just  why  they  were  suspicious  of  us,  but  they  were 
very  threatening.   Mr.  Mejorada  got  out  of  the  car  and 
walked  right  into  the  center  of  the  group.   He  stood  shoulders 
above  the  people  around  him.   He  met  the  mayor  of  the  town 
and  convinced  him  that  we  were  all  right.   And  so  they  let 
us  on  through.   But  that  was  a  time  when  I  was  really  quite 
frightened . 

Two  more  incidents,  both  involving  Clara,  stand  out  in 
my  memory.   The  first  ocurred  when  we  attempted  to  make 
a  short  cut  by  driving  down  a  creek  bed.   When  trying  to 
cross  a  sand  bar,  the  car  suddenly  sank  to  the  running 


Packard:    board  in  quicksand.   The  driving  wheel  just  churned  up  wet 
sand.   As  we  surveyed  the  situation,  Indian  faces  began  to 
appear  through  the  brush  lining  the  stream.   We  motioned 
for  help  but  not  for  quite  a  while  did  the  Indians  consent 
to  help  by  getting  logs  and  stones  to  build  a  solid  foundation 
on  which  we  could  back  out.   We  paid  them  well  and  convinced 
them  that  we  were  friends. 

The  other  incident  occurred  when  we  drove  into  the 
town  of  Ixmiquilpan  in  the  state  of  Hidalgo.   I  parked  the 
car  in  the  inside  patio  of  the  hotel.   Clara  was  wearing 
khaki  riding  pants  and  boots.   I  noticed  that  the  little 
daughter  of  the  proprietor  looked  rather  puzzled.   Clara 
went  to  her  room  and  changed  her  clothes.   When  she  came 
out  the  little  girl  ran  to  her  mother  saying,  "Senorita, 
sefiorita."  (  Laughter  )  Later  on  the  patio  was  filled, 
crowded  with  people  watching  and  betting  on  a  series  of 
cock  fights  where  the  cocks  were  armed  with  razor  sharp 
steel  spurs  fastened  to  their  legs.   Such  fights  were  often 
fatal  to  both  birds.   The  next  afternoon  I  could  not  find 
Clara  anywhere  around  the  patio  until  I  entered  the  bar 
room.   There  she  was  sitting  at  a  table  with  three  haviendados 
in  full  Mexican  regalia  including  pistols.   They  were  playing 
a  simple  game  of  matching  cards  where  the  money  was  in 
candy  pesos  which  they  had  purchased  for  Clara. 

There  was  one  incident  that  illustrated  the  attitude 
of  the  Spanish-Mexicans  toward  the  Indians.   There  was  a 


Packard:     big  New  Year's  Eve  party  given  by  the  American  engineers 

at  Guatimapg  who  were  living  in  one  of  the  very  large  hacienda 
buildings  with  rooms  surrounding  a  great  court.  We  invited 
everyone  to  come  to  the  party  including  the  peons  on  the 
property.   Many  of  them  came.   But  the  Spanish -Mexicans 
stayed  away  because  of  the  peons  attending  this  party. 
We  danced  with  all  the  Indian  girls.   We  made  no  distinctions 
at  all.   The  next  day,  in  talking  to  our  Spanish-Mexican 
friends,  we  found  that  they  were  quite  shocked  by  our 

Baum:       Yes,  it  doesn't  sound  like  the  snobbery  was  American  snobbery 
but  upper  class  Mexican  snobbery. 

Packard:    Yes,  exactly.   There  were  two  other  illustrations  of  the 

same  thing  at  GuatimapS.   There  were  two  Texans  that  operated 
a  large  ranch  in  the  mountains  about  thirty  miles  north 
of  GuatimapS.   They  invited  three  American  engineers  and 
myself  to  spend  Christman  at  their  hacienda.   It  was  a 
troubled  time  and  it  was  rather  dangerous  to  make  the  trip. 
The  Mexican  driver  of  our  car --we  had  two  cars --was  very 
frightened.   We  drove  to  a  pre-arranged  point  where  the  two 
Texans  met  us  with  horses. 

Baum:       Were  the  Mexican  car  drivers  afraid  of  being  captured  by 
bandits  or  by  revolutionaries? 

Packard:     By  bandits.   We  got  to  the  hacienda  after  a  two  hour  ride 
and  attended  a  party  that  night.   The  peons  came  in  on 
horseback  and  on  foot,  all  carrying  rifles  and  side  arms. 


Packard:     They  tied  their  horses  outside  and  came  in,  generally 
wearing  their  very  large  sombreros  and  started  dancing 
in  the  dining  room  that  had  been  cleared  for  the  purpose. 
I  was  very  particular  to  dance  with  every  Indian  girl,  so 
there  would  be  no  prejudice  shown.  (  Laughter  )  These 
guns  looked  pretty  impressive.   I  didn't  want  to  get  involved 
in  anything.  (  Laughter  )   But  I  left  the  party  about  one 
o'clock  in  the  morning  and  went  back  to  my  room.   In  the 
morning  when  it  was  time  for  breakfast.   I  found  the 
dancing  still  going  on.   So  when  they  left  they  went  out 
to  where  they  had  their  rifles  stacked  up,  took  the  guns 
and  went  away.   That  night  we  listened  to  the  radio  and 
heard  the  mounties  who  were  snowed  in,  in  British  Columbia, 
sending  messages  to  their  friends  in  Eastern  Canada. 

Still  another  incident  illustrates  another  phase  of 
the  Mexican  problem  as  I  saw  it.   I  was  a  guest  of  the 
Irsokis  whose  hacienda  joined  Guatimape".   They  had  re- 
occupied  the  Casa  Grande  which  had  been  used  by  the  peons 
during  the  Pancho  Villa  days.   He  was  rather  ruthless,  I 
thought,  in  keeping  peons  away  from  the  vicinity  of  the 
house.   He  would  angrily  say,  "Eso  es  mi  casa."  We  drove 
around  the  fields  to  inspect  some  special  plantings  of  wheat, 
which  occupied  land  almost  immediately  adjacent  to  the 
long  rows  of  the  peons'  abode  houses.   Irsoki  saw  some 
stray  pigs  in  the  wheat  patch  and  got  very  angry.   He  drove 
back  to  the  casa  grande  and  got  his  shotgun.   He  intended 


Packard:    to  shoot  as  many  of  the  pigs  as  he  could,  I  was  invited 

to  go  along  but  declined.   I  heard  some  shooting  but  chose 
not  to  ask  questions. 

Packard ; 


Mrs.    : 




Social  Life  in  Mexico;   Influence  of  Ambassador  and  Mrs. 
Dwight  Morrow 

We  haven't  covered  the  diplomatic  scene  in  Mexico  City. 
No,  we  haven't.   But  it  is  a  very  interesting  subject 
because  Dwight  Morrow  brought  a  great  change  in  the  American's 
attitude  toward  the  Mexicans. 

You  were  there  before  Morrow  came  down,  is  that  right? 
Walter  was.   I  came  down  the  same  month,  I  think. 
Could  you  notice  the  change  in  the  atmosphere? 
Oh  yes,  quite  definitely.   Both  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Morrow  were 
very  sincerely  interested  in  the  Mexican  people.   They 
began  by  breaking  down  any  social  barriers  between  the 
Americans  and  the  Mexicans.   One  subtle  thing  they  did  was 
to  invite  Charles  Lindbergh  to  come  to  Mexico  City  during 
the  height  of  his  popularity.   The  attitude  of  the  people 
toward  him  was  illustrated  by  the  action  of  an  old  Mexican 
who  went  to  his  church  to  ring  the  bells  when  Lindbergh 
had  just  flown  over.  When  asked  why  he  was  ringing  the 
bells  he  said,  with  tears  in  his  eyes,  "I'm  ringing  them 
for  that  young  American  who  is  going  to  bring  peace  to  my 
country."  Lindbergh  was  advertised  to  arrive,  I  think, 
about  nine  or  ten  o'clock  one  morning,  but  nobody  knew 



Mrs.    : 

exactly  when.   Radio  communication  hadn't  been  developed 
to  the  point  it  has  now.   President  Calles  had  a  box  seat 
in  bleachers  built  in  a  pasture  that  was  the  airport.   He 
came  out  early  in  the  morning  and  sat  for  hours  waiting 
for  Lindbergh  to  come.  We  drove  out  in  a  taxi  and  got 
into  the  crowd.   There  were  thousands  upon  thousands  of 
people,  waiting,  and  waiting.   I  think  they  waited  about 
two  or  three  hours.   Finally  they  began  looking  into  the 
sky  saying,  "Eso  es!   Eso  esl"  (That  is  he!)  And  he  finally 
landed . 

The  next  time  I  saw  Lindy  was  at  the  American  embassy 
that  day.  And  Anne  Morrow  was  there.   I  remember  seeing 
her  standing  by  the  punch  bowl  talking  to  Lindy.   Prohibition 
was  on  in  America  at  that  time,  so  the  embassy  never  officially 
served  anything  intoxicating.   So  the  punch  conformed  to  the 
laws  at  home.  (  Laughter  )   So  Lindy  stayed  for  several 
days  and  there  were  big  festivities,  and  parades  in  the 
street,  and  dances. 

Another  thing  Mrs.  Morrow  promoted  was  the  Mexican 
dancers.   The  women  from  Jalisco  had  a  particularly  spec 
tacular  costume  which  was  perfectly  beautiful.   Very  long, 
with  a  great  white  headdress  and  starched  skirts,  white 
and  then  purple  over  the  white.   I  don't  remember  the 
details  of  it  now,  but  they  brought  those  to  the  football 
stadium  in  Mexico  City — hundreds  of  them—and  each  area 
had  its  own  particular  typical  dance  in  costume.   It  was 




very  distinctive  and  beautiful.   Then  they  had  big  athletic 
drills . 

It  seemed  to  us  that  the  arrival  of  Lindbergh  sort  of 
sparked  a  new  attitude  on  the  part  of  the  Mexican  people. 
There  was  a  new  spirit  that  the  Morrows  were  trying  to 
develop.   Lindy  did  more  than  anything  else  to  spark  it 
all.   Then,  a  little  later  the  Morrows  invited  Will  Rogers 
down  who  was,  again,  another  man  who  could  understand  the 
Mexican  people.  And  when  he  arrived  at  the  station  in 
Mexico  City  President  Calles  was  there  to  meet  him.  Will 
Rogers  said,  "Remember,  I'm  not  a  candidate  for  the  presidency." 
And  Calles  laughed  and  said,  "That's  lucky  because  we  shoot 
them  before  breakfast  down  here."  Well,  that  was  simply 
a  reflection  of  the  unstable  conditions  at  the  time.   The 
candidate  for  the  presidency,  General  Obregon  had  been  shot. 
No,  he  was  elected  president  and  he  was  assassinated  after 
he  was  elected.   But  several  of  the  candidates  for  the 
presidency  were  shot. 

Will  Rogers  went  out  with  the  President  on  a  special 
presidential  train  and  was,  again,  a  man  who  created  a  lot 
of  friendship. 

One  time,  to  show  the  conditions,  we  were  leaving  for 
Chihuahua  on  the  El  Paso  train.  And  General  Obregon  had 
a  private  car  on  the  back  of  the  train.  As  soon  as  the 

3.   Mrs.  Packard's  letters  describing  this  period  are  included 

in  the  Walter  and  Emma  Packard  papers  in  the  Bancroft  Library, 


Packard:    train  pulled  out  he  and  his  aides  all  came  up  into  the 

pulltnan  car  because  they  were  afraid  the  private  car  would 
be  spotted  by  dynamiters  and  blown  up.  We  went  very  slowly 
because  of  the  danger  of  being  derailed.  We  had  armored 
cars  on  the  train,  in  case  of  any  hold  up. 

Baum:       Was  this  loosening  of  social  relations  favored  by  the  upper 
class  Mexicans,  too,  or  was  that  mainly  an  appeal  to  the 
middle  classes  and  the  lower  classes? 

Mrs.    :    I  think  it  was  largely  to  the  upper  class  because  the 

Morrows  had  great  wealth  and  social  prestige.  Wealth 

is  respected  everywhere.   If  Mrs.  Morrow  did  it,  nobody 
else  dared  do  less,  so  to  speak.   In  their  case  I  think 
it  was  largely  the  association  with  government  people- 
Mexican  people  in  the  government.   Of  course,  the  old 
Diaz  crowd  were  the  "outs."  Diaz  had  been  defeated  long 
before,  but  that  element  was  more  or  less  on  the  "outs" 
now.   The  new  spirit  and  the  new  people  were  coming  in 
and  it  was  a  terribly  mixed  period.   The  generals  were 
politicians,  of  course,  as  they  are  in  a  good  many  Latin 
American  countries.   Calles  was  a  general  and  he  was  sup 
posed,  at  the  time,  to  be  one  of  the  better  of  the  generals. 
He  did  promote  this  land  division  and  yet  it  was  the  custom 
there,  understood,  that  the  President  was  supposed  to  have 
two  percent  of  the  government  contracts.  At  least,  we 
were  told  that.  Anyway,  Calles  had  plenty  of  money. 
Baum:       More  than  his  presidential  salary?  (  Laughter  )  Well,  I 


Baum:       think  that's  a  Latin  American  custom. 

Packard:    In  any  case  the  people  that  we  met,  the  Mexicans,  were  in 
general  very  high  class  people.   One  of  the  comments  I 
made  at  the  time  shows  how  I  felt.   This  is  a  letter  to 
Professor  Elliot  Mears  of  Stanford,  professor  of  geography. 

I  have  been  very  much  impressed  with  the  integrity 
and  ability  of  the  men  in  charge  of  affairs  in  Mexico. 
Their  efforts  seem  to  be  dominated  by  a  sincere  desire 
to  build  up  a  social  order  suited  to  the  needs  of  the 
Mexican  people.  Many  of  the  leaders  are  idealists. 
But  the  program  which  has  been  adopted  for  the  devel 
opment  of  Mexico  seems  to  be  founded  on  a  sound  basis. 
The  agrarian  reform  is  being  followed  up  by  the  estab 
lishment  of  a  sound  banking  system,  including  a  land 
bank  established  on  the  principle  of  the  Rural  Credit 
Institutions  of  Germany.   Extensive  programs  of  highway 
development,  irrigation  development,  and  school  exten 
sion  are  being  carried  out.   It  will  be  years  before 
the  results  of  the  work  being  done  are  felt  by  the  mass 
of  rural  dwellers.   So  that  there  will  be  little  change 
in  the  emigration  situation.   It  is  probable  that 
Mexico  will  furnish  agricultural  labor  for  seasonal 
demand  indefinitely. 

Baum:       What  is  the  date  on  that  letter? 

Packard:    It's  not  dated,  but  that  would  be  in  the  spring  of  1927. 

At  that  time  I  gathered  some  statistical  material 
on  the  population  of  Mexico.   There  was  a  large  German 
population.   This,  of  course,  was  after  the  First  World 
War.   German  capital  has  always  gone  into  Latin  America. 
Germans  are  especially  influential  in  Argentina  and  Brazil. 
Of  course,  there  are  ex-Nazis  among  them.   German  men 
tended  to  marry  daughters  of  propertied  Mexicans. 

The  Chinese  were  very  important  in  Mexico.   I  think 


Packard : 


there  were  more  Chinese  than  any  other  single  foreign 

I  wrote  a  report  at  that  time,  just  a  tentative  report 
for  Dr.  Mears,  and  this  is  it. 

A  report  on  race  relations  in  Mexico.   That  sounds  very 


Mrs.    : 

Daughter  Emmy  Lou  Packard  and  Diego  Rivera 

I'd  like  to  hear  about  Emmy  Lou's  experience  with  Diego 

Our  first  meeting  with  him  was  in  Mexico  City  where 
Emmy  Lou  and  I  went  to  join  Walter  and  Clara  in  the  fall 
of  1927.   Emmy  Lou  had  been  encouraged  toward  art  in  the 
Peninsula  School  and  we  had  heard  much  about  the  Mexican 
Open  Air  Art  Schools  for  the  Mexican  children,  encouraged 
and  promoted  by  the  artists  and  the  government  of  President 
Calles.  Miss  Bertha  Heise,  an  artist  cousin  of  Walter's, 
told  me  a  great  deal  about  this  movement  before  we  went 
to  Mexico.   So  I  enquired  down  there  about  Diego  Rivera 
who  was  said  to  be  very  much  interested  in  the  art  work 
of  children.   There  were  no  classes  available  so  I  made 
bold  and  went  to  see  Diego,  who  was  working  at  the  time 
on  a  big  mural  in  the  Secretariat  of  Education.   He  came 
down  from  the  scaffold  and  was  very  responsive  and  courteous 
about  it  all  and  after  looking  at  her  work,  he  asked  her 
to  come  back  in  another  week  to  show  him  more  work.   So 


Mrs.    ; 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 

we  continued  doing  that  at  intervals.   He  was  very  careful 
not  to  criticize  or  discourage  her.   He  would  make  suggestions 
about  improvement  and  ask  her  to  come  back  again  to  see 
him.   Under  this  stimulus,  she  did  a  great  deal  of  painting 
during  the  four  years  we  were  in  Mexico. 
What  kind  of  a  person  was  he? 

The  first  impression  was  of  his  being  a  huge  man.   He  weighed 
about  three  hundred  pounds  and  moved  slowly — ponderously, 
but  gracefully.   He  was  six  feet  tall  but  I  remember  his 
hands  were  small.   He  looked  very  Mexican--black  hair  and 
swarthy  skin.   He  seemed  gentle  and  affable,  good-natured 
and  responsive.   He  understood  some  English  and  we  understood 
a  little  Spanish  so  we  could  communicate  fairly  well. 
Was  this  your  only  meeting  with  him? 

No.   We  had  three  other  contacts  with  him  here  in  California 
and  another  in  Mexico.  We  left  Mexico  in  1930  and  lived 
again  in  Palo  Alto  where  Emmy  Lou  re-entered  the  Peninsula 
School  after  she  finished  jr.  high  in  Pasadena — her  first 
year  of  high  school.  At  that  time--about  1931--Diego  was 
invited  to  do  a  mural  in  the  San  Francisco  Stock  Exchange 
and  he  and  his  wife,  Frida  Kahlo,  were  living  in  the  studio 
of  Ralph  Stackpole  on  Montgomery  Street.   We  went  to  see 
them  and  invited  them  down  to  visit  the  Peninsula  School 
and  see  what  that  school  was  doing  with  children's  art. 
They  came  down  and  made  the  visit  to  the  school  and  spent 
the  night  with  us  at  our  home,  "Casa  Contenta,"  on  Menlo 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 

Oaks  Drive.  Emmy  Lou  had  a  Mexican  "mural"  on  the  school 
wall — actually  done  with  poster  paints  on  paper—and  one 
of  children  and  dogs,  he  liked  the  Mexican  one  as  he  said 
it  was  good  memory  work,  but  disapproved  of  the  other  one 
for  not  being  a  "memory"  one.  He  seemed  to  think  she  had 
the  "feeling"  and  spirit  of  Mexico  in  her  work. 

When  we  were  driving  them  back  to  the  city,  Diego  was 
nauseated  by  the  "slaughter  house"  smell  of  the  Pacific 
Bone  Coal  Factory  on  El  Camino  Real.  Frida  was  much  amused 
by  the  Fuller  Paint  sign  along  the  highway  near  Third  and 
Bayshore  where  a  life-sized  man  swept  a  paint  brush  across 
the  sign--"El  hombre  que  pinta!"  she  exclaimed  with 
delight.   I  was  recently  reminded  by  Clara  that  we  all  went 
to  Rivera's  studio  for  the  unveiling  of  a  portrait  he  had 
done  of  Helen  Wills,  then  at  the  height  of  her  tennis 
career.   He  had  painted  a  scene  in  the  transom  above  the 
studio  entry  door  of  a  Mexican  mother  sitting  on  the  side 
walk  curbing  while  her  small  boy  relieved  himself  toward 
the  heads  of  the  entering  guests!   I  wonder  where  that 
picture  is  now?   It  was  not  "dirty" — just  very  natural  and 
true  to  life  in  Mexico--at  least  at  that  period. 
When  was  the  next  time  you  saw  Rivera? 
That  was  in  the  summer  of  1940  when  the  Treasure  Island 
Fair  was  organized  by  San  Francisco.   Since  our  visit  with 
Diego  in  1931,  Emmy  Lou  had  finished  high  school  at  the 
Sequoia  Union  High  School  in  Redwood  City  and  had  entered 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    ! 

the  University  of  California  at  Berkeley.   In  1933,  Walter 
took  on  a  job  with  the  Agricultural  Adjustment  Administration 
and  the  family  moved  to  Berkeley  where  we  lived  for  a  year 
on  Rock  Lane.   While  doing  Community  Theater  work  in  Palo 
Alto,  Emmy  Lou  had  met  Burton  Cairns  who  had  just  graduated, 
cum  laude  in  architecture  from  U.C.,  and  a  romance  developed 
which  ended  in  an  elopement  to  Reno  in  the  summer  of  1934. 
She  remained  in  college  until  the  next  fall  when  their 
son,  Donald,  was  born  on  September  27,  1935.   She  had  been 
urged  to  take  the  editorship  of  The  Pelican  as  she  had  been 
working  as  Art  Editor  of  the  Daily  Californian.  However, 
when  the  man  who  had  been  chosen  as  editor  dropped  out  of 
college,  she  returned  to  U.C.  at  the  January  semester  in 
1936  and  became  the  first  woman  editor  of  The  Pelican. 
Did  she  finish  college? 

Yes,  in  1936.   In  the  meantime,  Walter  had  been  asked  by 
Rex  Tugwell  to  take  charge  of  the  office  of  Region  9  of  the 
Resettlement  Administration  then  being  organized  to  meet 
some  of  the  problems  of  the  great  depression.  An  architectural 
division  was  organized  in  this,  to  take  over  plans  for  low 
cost  housing  in  rural  areas  and  several  of  the  recent 
graduates  of  U.C.  architectural  school  were  hired  in  this 
division.   Among  them  were  Burton  Cairns,  Vernon  DeMars, 
Francis  Violich,  and  Corwin  Mocine,  as  well  as  Garrett 
Eckbo.  All  of  these  men  are  now  on  the  faculty  of  U.C. 
at  this  writing,  except  Burton.   Tragedy  struck  the  family 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 

when  he  was  killed  in  an  auto  accident  while  on  a  tour  of 

inspection  of  housing  projects  in  Oregon.   While  driving 

with  Garrett  Eckbo  in  a  rainstorm,  his  car  slipped  off  the 

narrow  highway  on  a  curve  and  was  struck  by  an  oncoming 

bus.   He  was  killed  instantly  and  Garrett  was  in  the  hospital 

for  many  months  with  a  crushed  leg  and  other  injuries. 

Donald  was  just  past  four  years  old.   Burton  was  just  thirty 

and  by  this  time  was  head  of  the  Division  of  Architecture 

for  Region  9.  (See  clipping,  San  Francisco  News ,  December  21, 


What  a  tragedy!   What  did  Emmy  Lou  do  after  that? 

After  closing  up  her  apartment  in  San  Francisco,  she 
and  Donald  came  to  Berkeley  to  live  with  us  for  awhile. 
She  enrolled  in  the  California  School  of  Fine  Arts  for 
one  semester  to  study  fresco  painting  with  Moya  del  Pino 
and  sculpture  with  Ralph  Stackpole.   Then  she  went  to 
New  York  to  stay  with  Frances  Adams,  a  long-time  friend, 
hoping  she  could  get  work  in  New  York.   While  she  was  there 
the  Art-in-Action  section  of  the  Treasure  Island  Fair  was 
opened.   Timothy  Pfleuger,  one  of  the  leading  architects 
in  San  Francisco,  was  on  the  Fair  Board  and  he  induced  Diego 
to  come  to  the  Fair  in  1940  and  paint  a  big  fresco  mural, 
which  was  designed  by  Mr.  Pfleuger  to  be  installed  later 
in  the  Library  of  San  Francisco  Junior  College  (now  San 
Francisco  State  College.) 

There  was  much  difficulty  in  getting  Diego  into  th<2 


Mrs.    ; 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 

country  because  of  his  avowed  Communist  sympathies.   He 
came  for  painter's  wages.   His  helpers  were  paid  by  W.P.A. , 
except  for  a  few  non-W.P.A.  volunteers,  like  Emmy  Lou. 
He  paid  her  a  small  salary  out  of  his  own  funds. 
You  mean  house  painter's  wages? 

Yes.   It  seems  to  me  that  the  mural  cost  $4,000.00  for 
'1,650  square  feet.   I  am  told  that  it  is  now  insured  for 
$100,000.00  where  it  is  installed  in  the  foyer  of  the 
Little  Theater  of  San  Francisco  City  College.   Incidentally, 
it  was  designed  for  a  much  bigger  space  and  the  view  of 
it  is  from  too  close  up  for  the  best  effect. 
You  said  Emmy  Lou  was  in  New  York.   Did  she  come  back  on 
a  chance  she  might  work  on  the  mural? 

Not  exactly.   I  had  heard  that  Diego  was  looking  for  assistants, 
So  I  went  over  to  see  him  at  the  fair  (by  this  time  he  spoke 
quite  good  English)  and  told  him  of  Emmy  Lou's  situation 
and  that  she  had  just  completed  a  course  in  fresco  painting. 
So  I  asked  him  if  he  had  any  job  for  her.   He  said,  "Yes, 
I  can  use  her."  So  I  telegraphed  her  and  she  came  back 
and  worked  on  the  mural  for  the  rest  of  the  summer. 
What  kind  of  work  did  she  do? 

She  and  others  did  what  they  call  under paint ing,  which  is 
putting  on  the  gray  and  black  undercoat  on  the  wet  plaster. 
After  that  Diego  drew  in  the  design  and  painted  it  in  color 
on  top  of  the  grays  and  blacks.   Diego's  chief  assistant, 
Arthur  Niendorf,  was  often  given  such  technical  jobs  as 


Mrs.    ; 


Mrs.    : 


painting  in  the  Shell  Building  where  accuracy  of  detail 

was  required.   Emmy  Lou  was  allowed  to  paint  in  color,  too. 

She  painted  most  of  the  blue  Bay  and  such  details  as  the  barbed 

wire  in  the  Charlie  Chaplin  panel.   He  gave  her  a  corner 

one  day  of  a  Mexican  village  and  said,  "Let's  see  if  you 

remember  your  Mexican  villages."  He  stressed  the  importance 

of  memory  for  a  fresco  painter.   She  put  on  the  color  as 

well  as  the  detail  in  this  area  and  he  was  satisfied  with 

it.   The  mural  was  designed  for  the  Library  of  the  San 

Francisco  Junior  College  (now  San  Francisco  City  College) 

which  had  been  designed  by  Tim  Pfleuger.   Tim  Pfleuger 

died  in  the  40 's  and  the  library  was  not  built  for  a  long 

time.   Tim's  brother  Milton  and  the  firm  continued  to 

construct  the  buildings,  but  decided  to  place  the  mural 

in  the  theater  instead  of  the  Library. 

The  mural  was  finished  in  1940,  but  was  not  installed  until 

1961--why  was  that? 

In  the  first  place,  the  buildings  were  not  yet  ready  for 

it.   So  the  mural  was  stored  in  sections.   Then  about  that 

time,  when  World  War  II  was  brewing  in  Europe  there  was 

a  great  furor  over  communism  and  people  got  very  excited 

about  Diego  since  he  was  a  professed  communist  and  it  seemed 

wise  to  play  down  the  mural  and  it  was  stored  until  1961. 

You  may  remember  that  his  mural  was  in  the  Stock  Exchange-- 

which  is  headquarters  of  capitalism,  shall  we  say?  (  Laughter  ) 

Was  that  when  Trotsky  was  murdered? 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 

Yes,  Trotsky  was  assassinated.   In  fact,  Diego  at  that  time 
called  himself  a  trotskyite.   He  changed.   He  was  a  variable 
person  in  his  ideology.   His  ideas  were  based  more  on  emotion 
than  reason,  probably.   He  was  for  the  Indian,  the  Mexican- 
Indian,  the  mestizo — he  was  "for  the  people."  When  Trotsky 
was  banished  from  Russia  he  went  to  Mexico  and  Diego  gave 
him  asylum  for  a  time.   Later,  they  quarreled  and  Trotsky 
moved  to  another  apartment.   He  was  assassinated  while 
Diego  was  here  working  on  the  mural  at  the  Fair.   Frida, 
Diego's  wife,  got  word  to  Diego  as  quickly  as  possible. 
He  was  very  much  frighcened  as  he  always  had  been  much 
afraid,  himself,  of  being  assassinated. 
Did  he  seem  to  have  an  abnormal  fear  of  assassination? 
Yes ,  though  I  think  it  would  be  rather  normal  in  view  of 
the  things  that  he  had  been  doing.   People  were  being 
assassinated  who  were  working  on  revolutionary  activities 
and  he  had  been  active  in  promoting  the  Mexican  Revolution. 
He  had  led  communist  parades  in  Mexico  City  and  exposed 
himself  to  dangers  of  that  kind. 
What  did  he  do  about  this  situation? 

Because  of  this  fear,  he  had  always  refused  to  ride  in 
taxis,  so  one  of  Emmy  Lou's  duties  was  to  drive  him  back  and 
forth  from  his  studio  to  the  Fair.   Now,  he  was  afraid  to 
sleep  in  his  apartment  on  Telegraph  Hill,  so  she  drove  him 
back  to  Berkeley  and  he  slept  in  Walter's  garden  studio 
for  the  next  two  weeks  and  had  his  breadfast  with  us. 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    : 

But  he  went  back  to  work  on  the  mural  everyday,  coming 
back  here  at  night.   The  mural  was  under  heavy  guard  but 
nothing  happened  so  he  finally  went  back  to  his  own  quarters. 
What  about  his  wife,  Frida?  Did  she  come  up,  too. 
Yes,  she  was  here  part  of  the  time  during  his  stay—they  had 
broken  up  the  marriage  and  he  was  emotionally  upset  some 
of  the  time  because  of  that.   Frida,  herself,  was  a  striking 
sight  in  her  Jalisco  costume.   She  had  long  black  hair, 
into  which  she  braided  strands  of  bright  colored  yarn  and 
would  wind  this  around  her  head.   She  often  had  flowers 
arranged  in  the  yarn  as  well.  With  this  she  wore  native 
Mexican  costumes — purples  and  Mexican  pinks,  with  a  full 
white  ruffle  around  the  bottom  of  the  long  skirt.  When 
she  walked  down  Market  Street,  she  practically  stopped  traffic! 
She  was  "little,  but  Oh  My!"  and  a  very  good  artist  herself. 
They  were  remarried  in  a  simple  ceremony  in  San  Francisco 
while  she  was  up  here. 

What  did  all  this  emotional  conflict  do  to  the  mural? 
It  had  its  effect,  all  right.   Diego  was  temperamental  by 
nature  and  this  did  not  help  any.  We  especially  remember 
one  dramatic  day  because  we  were  involved  in  it  until 
2  a.m.  the  next  morning.   It  happened  that  he  did  some  work 
on  the  mural  which  did  not  suit  him  at  all.   He  was  frus 
trated  all  that  day  and  none  of  his  helpers  could  do  anything 



Mrs.    : 


right.   Finally,  with  his  work  on  the  wet  plaster  still 
unfinished,  he  threw  a  temper  tantrum,  broke  his  brushes 
in  two  and  gouged  out  the  work  he  had  done .   Then  he  said , 
"get  me  out  of  here."   So  Emmy  Lou  got  the  car  and  they 
drove  on  the  highway  toward  Palo  Alto.   He  went  sound  asleep 
and  slept  and  slept  and  slept.   And  she  drove  on  and  on  and 

Finally  they  came  to  Dinah's  Shack  near  Palo  Alto  and 
Diego  woke  up  and  they  went  to  the  restaurant.   It  was 
past  closing  time  but  the  waiters  recognized  Diego  so  asked 
him  in  and  gave  him  a  feast.  After  that,  they  drove  back 
to  the  city  where  he  got  off  at  his  apartment  and  she 
arrived  home  in  Berkeley  about  2  a.m. 
Did  you  know  what  was  happening? 

No,  but  we  were  becoming  very  worried  because  she  did  not 
come  home,  as  she  usually  phoned  us  if  she  would  be  late. 
The  first  hint  we  had  of  something  unusual  was  a  phone  call 
from  the  two  plasterers  who  followed  orders  to  prepare 
the  wet  plaster  for  the  next  day's  work.   They  asked, 

"Do  you  know  where  Diego  is?"  I  said,  "No."   "Then  do  you 


know  where  Emmy  Lou  is?"  Still  we  had  no  worX  when  they 

called  again  at  11  p.m.   Diego  usually  left  orders  about 
the  space  to  be  filled  by  the  plasterers  which  must  be 
exactly  right  or  the  work  next  day  could  not  proceed. 
Diego  was  very  exacting  about  his  technique  and  if  the 
plaster  was  not  right,  he  could  throw  a  fit  about  it  and 


Mrs.    ; 


Mrs.    : 


Mrs.    ; 


Mrs.    : 

most  of  the  crew  were  afraid  of  him,  though  Emmy  Lou  never 
was  and  probably  he  liked  her  the  better  for  that.  He  was 
a  very  powerful  personality  and  with  his  huge  bulk  could 
look  very  menacing.   I  don't  suppose  he  would  have  hurt  a 
fly,  but  he'd  make  such  a  show  of  it  that  he  scared  them. 
How  did  this  end? 

Emmy  Lou  arrived  at  our  home  at  2  a.m.  and  told  us  the  story. 
I  don't  remember  what  happened  to  the  mural  the  next  day! ! 
But  it  was  finally  finished  and  the  quote  from  Diego  below 
is  from  a  San  Francisco  paper,  with  a  photo  called  "Last 
Touches,"  showing  him  and  his  assistant,  Emmy  Lou  Packard 
working  on  the  mural:   "Of  the  74  feet  x  22  feet  mural  he 
said,  in  part:  'I  have  never  painted  a  better  thing,  whether 
in  plastic  qualities,  composition,  or  coloring. .. it  is 
a  result  of  all  my  previous  experiences  as  a  painter: 
because  it  is  a  synthesis  of  seventeen  years  of  work. '  " 
Then  what? 

The  mural  was  put  in  storage  because  the  building  was  not 
ready  for  it  and  Diego  finally  went  back  to  Mexico. 
Does  Emmy  Lou  think  that  he  influenced  her  painting? 
I  can't  quite  answer  that  myself.   But  I  can  quote  a  little 
from  the  art  critics  who  judged  her  exhibit  of  Mexican 
paintings  after  she  spent  the  next  year  in  Mexico,  living 
in  the  home  of  Diego  and  Frida,  where  she  assisted  him  in 
his  gallery  during  1941.  Alfred  Frankenstein,  critic  for 
the  San  Francisco  Chronicle,  said,  (Nov.  23,  1953)  :  "Emmy 




Lou  Packard,  at  Gump's,  works  a  switch  on  the  customary 
Mexican  formula,  for  she  reflects  the  American  scene  in 
a  style  clearly  beholden  to  Diego  Rivera.   This  is  true, 
at  least,  in  her  numerous  color  woodcuts ... .her  best  achieve 
ment,  however,  is  in  the  water  colors.   Here  Miss  Packard 
uses  a  palette  as  pungent  as  Gaugin's. ...  these  water  colors 
are  big  stuff.   They  will  inevitably  take  command  of  any 
room  in  which  they  are  hung,  for  a  brilliant  and  positive 
personality  stands  behind  them..." 

I  believe  that  phase  of  her  work  is  past  since  much  of 
the  likeness  to  Diego  lay  in  the  fact  that  they  were  both 
painting  scenes  of  Mexico.   But  she  has  the  skill  of  expressing 
much  with  a  few  lines,  as  does  Diego  and  no  doubt  there  was 
some  unconscious  imitation,  in  method  as  well  as  subject 

Did  this  end  your  association  with  Diego  Rivera? 
No.  After  the  Fair  was  over,  Emmy  Lou  and  I  drove  him 
to  Brownsville,  Texas,  where  he  took  a  plane  for  Mexico 
City.  We  drove  her  car  on  to  Mexico  City  and  she  spent 
about  a  year  there  where  she  lived  with  Frida  and  Diego 
in  their  house  in  Coyoacan  and  studio  in  San  Angel.   She 
did  secretarial  work,  letters  and  typing  for  Diego  and  helped 
measure  the  top  floor  of  the  National  Palace  for  the  frescoes 
he  was  to  paint  there.   She  also  prepared  canvasses  for 
painting.   She  also  painted  many  oils  and  water  colors 
which  she  exhibited  at  Los  Angeles,  Santa  Barbara,  and  San 



Packard : 

Mrs.    : 

Francisco  on  her  return  home,  as  cited  above. 
There  was  one  personal  incident  that  was  rather  funny. 
Emmy  Lou  and  I  were  having  lunch  with  Sanchez  Mejorada. 
He  was  the  Chief  of  the  National  Irrigation  Commission 
with  whom  I  had  worked  in  the  late  1920 's  and  a  man  of 
very  high  standing.   And  he  didn't  know  that  Diego  was  going 
to  call  for  us  in  the  afternoon  with  his  car  to  take  us 
somewhere.   And  so  when  he  showed  up  and  a  mozo  (a  man 
servant)  came  in  to  announce  very  excitedly,  "Diego  Rivera 
is  outside,  he's  calling  for  you."  And  Sanchez  Mejorada 
looked  at  Emmy  Lou  and  at  me  and  said,  "Is  that  so?"  And 
I  said,  "Why  yes,  but  he  was  to  come  much  later  than  this. 
But  since  he's  here  I'd  like  to  have  you  meet  him."  So 
we  all  went  out.  And  Diego  got  out  of  his  car  and  was 
very  gracious  and  all.   Sanchez  Mejorada  detested  Diego, 
and  was  taken  aback  by  his  calling  for  us,  his  good  friends. 
And  then  when  he  was  getting  into  his  car  he  was  so  heavy 
and  fat  that  he  had  difficulty  getting  both  of  his  pistols 
into  the  front  seat.  He'd  cram  one  pistol  in  and  then  get 
his  behind  in  and  then  cram  the  other  pistol  in.  (  Laughter  ) 
He  wore  two  pistols? 

Yes.  And  then  we  all  got  in  the  back  seat  and  we  drove  off. 
(  Laughter  )  And  Sanchez  Mejorada  was  standing  with  his 
mouth  open,  wondering  what  had  happened  to  Packard.  (  Laughter  ) 
One  other  incident  deserves  mention  in  connection  with  the 
visit  Diego  made  to  see  the  Telesis  exhibit  our  architecture 


Mrs.    : 



Mrs.    : 

crew  put  on  at  the  San  Francisco  Museum  of  Art. 

What  is  Telesis? 

I  can  answer  that  best  by  quoting  from  a  letter  to  the  San 

Francisco  Chronicle  of  May  30,  1966,  written  by  Garrett 

Eckbo,  now  chairman,  College  of  Environmental  Design,  University 

of  California. 

Twenty-six  years  ago  a  group  of  young  professional 
planners  and  designers,  calling  itself  Telesis,  Envir 
onmental  Research  Group,  put  on  an  exhibit  called  "Space 
for  Living"  at  the  San  Francisco  Museum  of  Art.   This 
exhibit  attempted  to  deal  comprehensively  with  the  spaces 
in  which  we  live,  work  and  play  and  with  the  services 
which  they  require. 

The  group  of  young  men  mentioned  previously  as  being  now 
on  the  faculty  were  among  the  members  of  this  group. 
Recently  I  found  a  letter  that  I  had  written  to  Emmy  Lou 
while  she  was  in  New  York  and  I  quote  as  follows: 

The  Telesis  boys  wanted  to  get  Diego  to  see  their 
exhibit,  so  I  arranged  for  him  to  go  over  there  this 
morning.   I  drove  over  to  Stackpole's  house  and  got 
him  about  10  a.m.  and  took  him  over  to  Clay  Street 
where  the  boys  are  fixing  the  exhibit.   Vernon  (DeMars)  , 
Joseph  McCarthy,  Garrett  Eckbo  and  two  or  three  others 
were  there.   Diego  was  very  much  interested  in  it — 
really  was—and  spent  nearly  two  hours  with  them.   The 
upshot  was  that  he  is  going  to  draw  a  design  for  one 
pannel  for  them--and  make  a  statement  to  be  used  in  the 
prospectus  they  are  getting  out.   He  is  also  interested 
in  the  migrant  camps  and  is  going  to  make  a  trip  to 
Yuba  City  with  us  and  Vernon  some  time  next  week. . . 

Baum:       Does  this  finish  Emmy  Lou's  association  with  Diego  Rivera? 

Mrs.    : 

I  do  not  remember  that  she  ever  saw  him  after  she  came  back 
from  Mexico.  But  there  was  another  incident  connected  with 
the  mural.  Due  to  an  accident  while  in  storage,  a  hole  was 
punched  in  it,  about  a  foot  in  diameter.  Diego  was  asked 


Mrs.    ; 

to  come  back  and  repair  it.   He  refused  to  come  but  he 
commissioned  Emmy  Lou  to  do  the  work.   She  has  the  contract 
and  correspondence  concerning  this  in  her  files.   The  work 
was  not  done  until  years  after  Diego  died  and  the  mural 
was  to  be  installed  at  City  College  in  1961.   Emmy  Lou 
finally  did  the  work  of  repairing  the  damage,  as  well  as 
the  finishing  work  around  the  edges  and  frames  of  the  mural. 
She  obtained  color  photographs  from  Life  magazine  files  and 
copied  them  as  exactly  as  possible,  for  color.   I  believe 
this  covers  the  whole  Rivera  association  with  Emmy  Lou. 

Two  Mistakes  and  A  Lesson 

Packard:        The  mistake  I  made  in  buying  land  in  Imperial  Valley 

when  I  was  superintendent  of  the  Imperial  Valley  Experiment 
Farm  was  duplicated  on  a  larger  scale  when  I  was  in  Mexico. 
While  staying  in  Durango  I  met  Dr.  Harry  Gray,  an  eye 
specialist  who  was  also  interested  in  land.   He  came  to 
Mexico  at  the  invitation  of  Juan  Lasoya,  whom  he  met  in 
Canada  where  Gray  owned  a  large  wheat  ranch.  When  things 
settled  down  after  Villa's  retirement,  Mr.  Lasoya  returned 
to  his  Guatimape'  Hacienda  to  resume  operations.   He  sold 
a  tract  of  7,000  acres  of  "temporal"  land,  that  is,  rainfall 
farming  land,  to  Dr.  Gray,  and  together  they  got  a  Mennonite 
colony  started  some  miles  north  of  GuatimapS.   Although 
Dr.  Gray  had  an  office  in  Durango  and  was  known  throughout 


Packard:    the  area  as  an  eye  doctor,  he  spent  much  of  his  time  in 
operating  his  ranch.  At  planting  time  in  June  he  would 
arrange  to  have  forty  or  more  mules  driven  overland  from 
the  Laguna  district  near  Torreon  to  GuatimapS  when  the 
mules  were  no  longer  needed  in  the  large  cotton  fields. 
When  the  corn  and  oats  were  planted  the  mules  were  driven 
back  again. 

All  of  this  rather  fascinated  me  and  I  was  induced  to 
loan  Gray  some  money  for  operating  costs.   One  thing  led 
to  another  until  I  found  I  had  to  exchange  my  loan  to  a 
part  interest  in  the  property.   In  retrospect,  I  can't  imagine 
why  I  made  this  move,  expecially  in  view  of  my  interest 
in  the  land  reform  program.   But  I  did,  and  there  was  no 
objection  voiced  by  the  Commission  when  I  informed  them  of 
my  partnership.   In  any  event,  this  part  of  Mexico  proved 
to  be  part  of  the  Dust  Bowl.   The  crop  which  came  up  with 
the  first  rain  looked  very  promising.   But  it  just  didn't 
rain  again  and  we  hardly  got  our  seed  back.   I  traded  what 
equity  I  had  left  to  some  Mennonites  who,  so  far  as  I  know, 
are  still  there.   Unfortunately  the  equity  was  not  enough 
to  pay  my  debts,  so  when  I  returned  to  California  at  the 
height  of  the  great  stock  market  crash  I  was  a  true  dust- 
bowler.  (  Laughter  ) 

This  highly  educational  experience,  however,  was  not 
the  only  one.   On  a  trip  from  Monterey  to  Mexico  City 
during  the  month  which  Mr.  Salorzano  gave  me  to  finish 


Packard:    my  work,  I  met  three  men  who  introduced  themselves  as  pro 
spective  investors  in  Mexico.   They  had  a  compilation  of 
endorsements  about  two  inches  thick.   I  recognized  many 
of  the  names  of  nationally  known  people,  including  a  brother 
of  the  Secretary  of  the  Navy,  Denby.   I  was  impressed  by 
their  seeming  interest  in  the  development  of  Mexico  through 
the  investment  of  American  capital  and  know-how.   Dr.  Gray 
had  a  dozen  large  haciendas  listed  for  sale  at  what  seemed 
to  be  ridiculously  low  prices  per  acre.   This  list  included 
some  forest  properties  in  Durango  belonging  to  a  Mr. 
Hartmann,  a  German  resident  of  Mexico  City,  who  also  owned 
or  controlled  some  rather  extensive  hardwood  timber  lands 
in  the  tropical  lowlands.   These  properties  seemed  to  be 
just  what  the  Hoovers  wanted. 

Baum:       The  Hoovers  you  say.  Were  they  related  to  Herbert  Hoover? 
I  heard  that  you  had  reported  unfavorably  on  a  land  devel 
opment  project  being  promoted  by  Herbert  Hoover's  brother  in 
Palo  Alto. 

Packard:    No,  there  was  no  relationship  whatever  between  H.  T.  and 
Bruce  Hoover,  the  brothers  who  were  the  prime  operators 
in  the  Mexican  venture,  and  Herbert  Hoover.   I  did  advise 
against  a  proposed  land  development  plan  on  the  West  Side 
of  the  San  Joaquin  Valley  but  that  had  nothing  to  do  with 
the  Mexican  Hoovers  who  proved  to  be  completely  unscrupulous, 
One  thing  led  to  another.   Through  Hartmann 's  interests, 
the  manager  of  the  Mexico  City  branch  of  the  Bank  of  Canada 


Packard:     became  involved.   Having  been  dismissed  from  my  position 
with  the  Comision  Nacional  de  Irrigacion,  as  previously 
recorded,  I  agreed  to  accept  a  job  with  the  Hoovers  as 
their  Mexican  representatives  at  a  promised  salary  of 
$15,000.00  per  year.   I  say  promised  because  they  only  paid 
me  $600.00  per  month  for  the  few  weeks  I  worked  for  them. 
I  collected  a  long  list  of  options  on  properties  offered 
by  Dr.  Gray  and  Hartmann  and  then  proceeded  to  Chicago, 
purportedly  to  meet  the  board  of  directors  of  what 
I  thought  was  a  corporation.   I  had  become  suspicious  of 
the  Hoovers  who  I  found  were  not  interested  in  my  analyses 
of  the  properties.  All  they  wanted  to  know  was  the  price 
and  the  acreage  which,  when  combined,  seemed  to  provide 
a  basis  for  profits  in  resale  rather  than  in  operational 

When  I  got  to  Chicago,  I  found  that  the  Hoovers  and 
their  associates  were  selling  "units  of  interest"  in  an 
enterprise  that  was  to  take  the  properties  over  for  exploit 
ation.   The  "units  of  interest"  said,  in  fine  print,  that 
the  Hoovers  would  turn  the  properties  over  at  cost  and  would 
not  make  any  profit  until  the  properties  were  in  operation 
and  that  then  their  profits  would  be  confined  to  2  percent 
of  the  profits.   But  I  knew  this  to  be  completely  false. 
The  options  I  had  gathered  from  Gray  and  Hartmann  were 
being  turned  over  to  the  syndicate  for  about  fifteen  times 
the  option  price.   When  I  confronted  the  Hoovers  with  this, 


Packard:    I  was  told  that  I  would  be  taken  into  the  inner  circle  and 
would  make  half  a  million  dollars  or  more  if  I  went  along. 
I  was  not  surprised  but  floored.  What  kind  of  a  gang  was 
I  dealing  with?  I  laid  the  matter  before  the  syndicate 
attorney  whom  I  soon  found  to  be  the  legal  architect  of  the 
whole  deceitful  scheme.   I  collected  what  money  I  could  and 
resigned,  not,  however,  until  I  had  a  chance  to  get  the 
Better  Business  Bureau  of  Chicago  to  make  a  photostatic 
copy  of  one  of  the  units  of  interest,  copies  of  which  I 
was  not  supposed  to  have  access  to. 

I  returned  to  Mexico  and  exposed  the  syndicate  to  the 
American  Embassy  and  to  the  American  Chamber  of  Commerce, 
and,  of  course,  to  my  Mexican  friends.  A  year  or  so  later 
I  was  given  a  subpoena  by  a  federal  marshall  in  San  Francicso 
to  appear  before  the  Grand  Jury  in  Chicago  on  the  Hoover 
case.   I  told  my  story  and  on  two  subsequent  occasions  I 
appeared  as  a  government  witness  in  two  trials  in  Chicago. 
The  first  trial  ended  with  eleven  votes  for  conviction 
on  every  count.   The  twelfth  juror  had  obviously  been 
bribed  by  the  Hoovers.   The  second  trial  before  a  judge 
failed  to  convict.   I  was  told  by  the  district  attorney 
for  whom  I  testified  that  the  judge  was  hand  in  glove  with 
the  crooked  syndicate  attorney. 

In  any  case,  I  had  some  satisfaction  during  the  first 
trial.   I  was  the  first  government  witness  and  faced  a 
battery  of  seven  Chicago  lawyers ,  headed  by  a  man  who  had 


Packard:    been  chief  justice  of  the  Supreme  Court  in  Illinois.   I 

was  able  to  get  a  statement  in,  re  the  "units  of  interest." 
What  followed  was  interesting.   It  went  like  this.   Defense 
attorney:   "Do  you  have  one  of  those  units  of  interest  you 
speak  about?"  Answer:   "No,  I  do  not."  The  defense  attorney 
then  turned  to  the  jury  and  said  dramatically,  "This 
witness  is  trying  to  convince  you  that  these  so-called 
units  exist  when,  in  fact,  they  do  not  and  never  have." 
I  interrupted  to  say  that  his  statement  was  not  true. 
Defense  attorney  again:   "What  proof-  have  you  got?"  I 
then  told  of  having  had  the  Better  Business  Bureau  make 
a  photostatic  copy  of  one  of  the  "units  of  interest."  I 
said,  "I  have  that  copy  in  my  pocket.  Would  you  like  to 
see  it?"  The  defense  attorney  said,  "No.",  and  gathered 
up  his  papers  to  return  to  his  desk  for  a  conference  with 
his  six  associates  while  the  jury  laughed.  (  Laughter  ) 

I  wish  it  were  possible  to  delete  this  part  of  my 
Mexican  experience  because  I  am  ashamed  of  having  been 
taken  in  by  these  two  ventures,  the  partnership  with 
Gray  and  the  association  with  the  Chicago  syndicate.   In 
retrospect  I  would  say  that  three  factors  were  perhaps 
involved.   1.  A  desire  for  big  profits  and  income  at  the 
very  height  of  the  post-war  boom.   2.  My  need  of  a  job 
when  my  employment  with  the  Mexican  government  ended. 
(I  had  lost  all  contact  with  any  job  opportunities  in 
California  and  didn't  know  where  to  turn).   3.  A  peculiar 


Packard:    nostalgic  love  of  a  childish  Mexican  illusion,  rooted 
perhaps,  in  the  Henty  stories  of  the  eighteen-year-old 
rider  on  a  black  mustang  headed  for  the  rim-rock  country 
and  adventure . 

I  was  influenced  to  a  degree  by  the  success  which  an 
American  had  made  of  a  cattle  ranch  between  Durango  and 
Torreon.  Mr.  Bell  was  representing  the  Cudahy  Packing 
Company  and  seemed  to  me  to  demonstrate  what  could  be  done 
with  adequate  capital  and  know-how.   His  living  quarters 
were  very  attractive  including  a  large  well-cared-for  garden 
and  fruit  orchard.  Whatever  the  factors  were  that  influenced 
me ,  I  came  out  of  the  Mexican  experience  a  more  mature  and 
much  wiser  man. 

Walter  Packard,  Emma  Packard,  Burton  Cairns  holding  Donald,  age  3. 
Berkeley  -  1938. 

Walter  Packard,  Army  Educa 
tional  Corps,  A.E.F.,  France 


t  r?    p  c